As dentists get back to work in Texas, many with the help of the PPP Act, you might have missed some other good news in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The money from a health savings account (HSA) can now pay for more expenses—and many of these changes are permanent (unless they change the law); not just through the end of the year.

A Refresher on HSAs

As a reminder, HSAs are bank accounts that offer a tax-advantaged way to save money for certain medical and other qualified expenses when you have any underlying qualified high deductible health plan.

Contributions are pretax (or tax-deductible, if your HSA is not employer-sponsored), the funds grow tax-deferred in the account, and withdrawals are tax-free for qualified medical expenses, without a time limit.

You can contribute up to $3,600 in 2021 if you have self-only coverage or up to $7,200 for family coverage ($3,550 and $7,100, respectively, for 2020).

If you’re 55 or older at the end of the year, you can contribute an extra $1,000. However, your contribution limit is reduced by the amount of any contributions made by your employer that are excludable from your income—including amounts contributed to your HSA account through a cafeteria plan.

What are the new covered expenses?

Over-the-counter drugs purchased January 1, 2020, or later are now HSA-eligible without a prescription. Drugs include pain relievers, cough suppressants, anti-histamines; those for reflux and allergies; and even feminine-hygiene products.

Telemedicine or telehealth—through which patients and physicians or clinicians consult remotely over the phone or by using a video chat, such as Zoom or FaceTime—are now permitted as eligible expenses, even if you haven’t reached your deductible.

High-deductible plans may also pay for testing and treatment related to COVID-19 before you’ve reached your deductible.

If you would like to receive more information or would like to discuss the insurance options available, please contact TDA Financial Services Insurance Program at 800-677-8644 or visit tdamemberinsure.com.