Telehealth: HSA Eligibility

Telehealth: eligible with a Health Savings Account (HSA)
Telehealth or telemedicine is eligible for reimbursement with a flexible spending account (FSA), health savings account (HSA)*, health reimbursement arrangement (HRA), and limited purpose flexible spending account (LPFSA- dental, vision, and preventive services only). Telehealth or telemedicine is not eligible for reimbursement with a dependent care flexible spending account (DCFSA).

For HSA's Only: While telehealth is a service that can be covered under your HSA, there has been guidance from the IRS on the ability for an HSA-compatible health plan to cover telehealth services without disqualifying the HSA, depending upon the health plan start date.

  • If your HSA-qualified health plan began before January 1, 2022, telehealth visits may have been covered at no cost without disqualifying you from being eligible to continue contributing to your HSA. This was a temporary change made by the IRS.
  • If your HSA-qualified health plan began January 1, 2022 or later, telehealth visits are now subject to your health plan deductible (as coverage of telehealth would make the health plan no longer HSA-qualified), and can continue to be paid for with your HSA dollars.

What is telehealth?

Telehealth, also known as telemedicine, the use of electronic information and telecommunications technologies to support and promote long-distance clinical health care, patient and professional health-related education, public health and health administration, according to the definition set forth by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HealthIT)

Telehealth and telemedicine are often used interchangeably, but telehealth is the umbrella term for a wide range of services that may be medical in nature but not directly patient-focused. Telemedicine, rather is the patient-facing service that is primarily geared toward providing remote medical services to participants, such as patient portals, dietary monitoring, ordering testing supplies and medication and more, while telehealth can encompass both patient and group medical services, such as provider training, continuing medical education and more. 

Why is telehealth used as opposed to traditional medical care?

Telehealth is a growing industry that is in a great position to provide remote medical services to individuals who live in rural or isolated communities, where proper medical advice and consultation may not be readily available. Telehealth is also a supplement to traditional primary care consultations, and this term can be used to describe private practice patient portals, virtual appointments with medical professionals, remote monitoring and many other applications (Mayo Clinic). 

Telehealth can be adapted to a wide variety of medical applications, but it is a vital service that can make medical services more readily available or convenient for those with limited mobility, time or transportation options, as well as making it easier to consult specialists who may live in different parts of the country. But most importantly, telehealth is a 21st century innovation that is dramatically improving patient-doctor communication and providing more information than ever for patients to take stock of their own health and improve their long-term care outcomes.

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