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New IRS rules gives high deductible plans richer care benefits

Anjalee Khemlani
Senior Reporter

The Treasury Department and IRS issued a notice Wednesday that will help health care plan enrollees with high deductibles qualify for more preventative care benefits.

The move, which expands the uses for Health Savings Accounts, was issued in response to President Donald Trump’s June 24 executive order. That document ordered the Treasury “to issue guidance to expand the ability of patients to select high deductible health plans that can be used alongside HSAs and cover low-cost preventive care, before the deductible, that helps maintain health status for individuals with chronic conditions.”

The new list adds services and treatments for certain chronic care that the IRS, Treasury and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services determined were low-cost. It is unclear what data set was used to determine this information.

The insurance industry, which would be required to approve claims that fit the new standards as well as design plans around the new guidance, had no immediate reaction to the new guidance.

The news came as most insurance officials were focused on Capitol Hill, where the Senate was debating a series of health care bills.

Blue Cross Blue Shield Association vice president Kris Haltmeyer told Yahoo Finance it was a move the industry welcomes.

“We strongly support providing consumers with better access to care to keep them healthy and addresses chronic conditions,” he said.

“We’re pleased the administration also advanced this goal by giving health insurers more flexibility to cover high-value services on a pre-deductible basis for consumers enrolled in high deductible health plans,” Haltmeyer added.

Anjalee Khemlani is a reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @AnjKhem

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