Notice of COVID-19 Extension of Timeframes
On April 28, 2020, The Department of Labor (DOL and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued final rules extending certain timeframes to protect the benefits of participants and beneficiaries in employee benefit plans.
Below is a summary of the relief provided under the final rules issued by the agencies.
All group health plans, disability and other employee welfare benefit plans, and employee pension benefit plans subject to ERISA or the Code must disregard the period from March 1, 2020 until sixty (60) days after the announced end of the National Emergency or such other date announced by the Agencies in a future notice (the “Outbreak Period”) for all plan participants, beneficiaries, qualified beneficiaries, or claimants wherever located in determining the following periods and dates.
- The 30-day period (or 60-day period, if applicable) to request special enrollment under HIPAA,
- The 60-day election period for COBRA continuation coverage,
- The date for making COBRA premium payments,
- The date for individuals to notify the plan of a qualifying event or determination of disability under ERISA,
- The date within which individuals may file a benefit claim under the plan’s claims procedures,
- The date within which claimants may file an appeal of an adverse benefit determination,
- The date within which claimants may file a request for an external review after receipt of an adverse benefit determination or final internal adverse benefit determination, and
- The date within which a claimant may file information to perfect a request for external review upon a finding that the request was not complete
Please note the end for the National Emergency has not been announced. The above extended time-frames will end 60 days after the end date is announced. This notice will be updated once the end date is announced. Please check back regularly for updates.
Update as of February 16, 2021 – The extensions mentioned above were effective as of March 1, 2020, and extended deadlines 60 days after the end of the COVID-19 national emergency was declared over or until 12 months had passed, whichever occurred first. The grace period extension may be coming to an end on February 28, 2021, with the anniversary approaching. However, it is possible the agencies will issue additional rules which will allow the extensions to continue beyond February 28. We will issue an additional update if this occurs.
The Loomis Company believes reasonable effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information. It is intended for informational purpose only. Final interpretation and guidance will be issued by the enforcing governmental agencies. Plan sponsors should consult their legal and tax advisors for guidance as to how The Notice impacts their specific situation.