CMS issues FAQ on catastrophic health coverage and the coronavirus

March 20, 2020

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) to clarify coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) by catastrophic health plans. A catastrophic health plan generally may not provide coverage of an essential health benefit before an enrollee meets the plan’s deductible. 

Through these FAQs, CMS is announcing that the agency will not take enforcement action against any health issuer that amends its catastrophic plans to provide coverage without imposing cost-sharing requirements for COVID-19 related services before an enrollee meets the catastrophic plan's deductible. CMS encourages states to take a similar enforcement approach.

The purpose of this use of CMS’ enforcement discretion is to remove barriers and financial disincentives to COVID-19 diagnosis and treatment. The FAQs issued today align with guidance the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released last week, which provides flexibility to high deductible health plans to provide health benefits for diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19 without application of a deductible or cost-sharing.  

CMS has the FAQ.

CMS has the announcement.

More COVID-19 coverage HERE.