Employer Uptake of Pre-Deductible Coverage for Preventive Services in HSA-Eligible Health Plans

New NPC-funded research by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) has found that many employers would like to further broaden pre-deductible coverage for medications and health services used to treat common chronic conditions. This study set out to determine whether HSA-eligible high-deductible health plans (HSA-HDHPs) offered by large employers changed in response to IRS Notice 2019-45; the July 2019 IRS Notice that allowed HSA-HDHPs the flexibility to offer pre-deductible coverage of 14 medications and services used to prevent exacerbations of chronic diseases.

The EBRI issue brief included these key findings:

  • About 3 in 4 employers (76%) added pre-deductible coverage for HSA-eligible plans in response to the IRS Notice.
  • Depending on the medication or service, between 25% to 40% of employers not only provided pre-deductible coverage, but they also eliminated all patient cost sharing.
  • Most employers (81%) said they would offer pre-deductible coverage for additional drugs and health services if allowed by law. 

The V-BID Center Director, Dr. Mark Fendrick, is available for questions and comments at vbidcenter@umich.edu.