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Timeframe Extensions for Group Health Plans Due to COVID-19

The federal government has altered the rules for COBRA and this applies to any group with 20 or more fulltime and part time employees. Employers who sponsor group medical coverage have a COBRA obligation to participants and beneficiaries covered by the group medical insurance plan.

Here's a summary of the Department of Labor and the Department of Treasury guidelines on extending certain timeframes as they apply to group welfare benefit plans. 

All group health plans, disability and other employee welfare benefit plans subject to ERISA must disregard the period from March 1, 2020 until sixty (60) days after the announced end of the National Emergency for all plan participants and beneficiaries in determining the following dates:

  1. The 30-day period (or 60-day period if applicable) to request special enrollment due a life qualifying event (e.g. loss of other coverage, marriage, birth, death, etc.).
  2. The 60-day election period for COBRA continuation coverage.
  3. The date for making COBRA premium payments.
  4. The date for providing a COBRA election notice.
  5. The date for individuals to notify the plan of a qualifying event or determination of disability.
  6. The date within which individuals may file a benefit claim under the plan’s claims procedure.
  7. The date within which claimants may file an appeal of an adverse benefit determination.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.

Click now for the complete ruling and more details.

Click now for the COVID-19 FAQ’s for Participants and Beneficiaries.

The E2E Benefits team of experts is here to help you with urgency and compassion. Let us know your questions. We'll provide answers and are ready to discuss insurance and benefit updates to support you and your employees.