Final Rule on the Extension of Certain Timeframes for Employee Benefit Plans Due to COVID-19

PUTTING PEOPLE FIRST

On March 13, 2020, President Trump issued the Proclamation on Declaring a National Emergency Concerning the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Outbreak and by separate letter made a determination, under Section 501(b) of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, that a national emergency exists nationwide beginning March 1, 2020, as the result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Department of Labor (DOL) and the Department of the Treasury (Treasury) issued a final rule that extends certain timeframes under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and Internal Revenue Code (IRC) for group health plans, disability, and other welfare plans, pension plans, and participants and beneficiaries of these plans during the COVID-19 national emergency. The timing extensions are issued to help alleviate problems faced by health plans to comply with strict ERISA and IRC timeframes and problems faced by participants and beneficiaries in exercising their rights under health plans during the COVID-19 national emergency. The final rule provides the timeframe extensions based on the end date of the “national emergency” (as of the date of this publication, the national emergency end date has not been announced) and the end date of the “outbreak period” which is the 60th day after the end of the national emergency. Under the final rule the outbreak period will be disregarded, meaning the timeframes for the group health plan requirements noted below will not begin to run until after the outbreak period has ended.

The following extensions will be effective on May 4, 2020.

Cobra Extension and Examples

Special Enrollment Period Extension and Example

Claims Procedure & External Review Process Extensions with Examples

 

 

This information is general and is provided for educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide legal advice. You should not act on this information without consulting legal counsel or other knowledgeable advisors.
 

Feedback From Our Happy Customers



Need a custom plan designed for your team?

Schedule a Consultation

Contact Us Now To Get Your Business Covered