Updated as of April 17, 2023.
On April 10, 2023, the President signed H.J.Res. 7, which ended the COVID-19 national emergency on April 10, 2023, approximately one month earlier than anticipated. However, prior to the passage of H.J. Res. 7, the DOL and other federal agencies issued guidance in the form of FAQs that indicate an end date of May 11, 2023, for the national emergency and public health emergency. Based on informal statements by officials at the DOL and other agencies, the agencies intend to stand by the May 11 end date for the national emergency and the corresponding July 10, 2023 end date for the outbreak period. It is unclear whether the agencies will issue additional formal written guidance. This means that despite the President ending the national emergency on April 10, the DOL and other agencies will rely on the previously communicated May 11 end date as described in their FAQs to determine the end of the national emergency and public health emergency.
As a reminder, the national emergency relief disregards the following deadlines until the earlier of one year from the date the individual was first eligible for the relief, or until 60 days after the end of the national emergency:
- The 30-day period (or 60-day period, if applicable) to request a special enrollment;
- The 60-day election period for COBRA continuation coverage;
- The deadline for making COBRA premium payments;
- The deadline for individuals to notify the plan of a qualifying event or determination of disability;
- The deadline within which employees can file a benefit claim, or a claimant can appeal an adverse benefit determination, under a group health plan’s or disability plan’s claims procedures;
- The deadline for claimants to file a request for an external review after receipt of an adverse benefit determination or final internal adverse benefit determination; and
- The deadline for a claimant to file information to perfect a request for external review upon finding that the request was not complete.
Plans sponsors taking a cautious approach will administer their plans in accordance with the May 11 end date specified in the FAQs and continue to disregard the normal deadlines until after July 10, 2023. Participant communications should be reviewed to ensure that the correct deadlines are communicated.
About the Author. This alert was prepared for Alera Group by Barrow Weatherhead Lent LLP, a national law firm with recognized experts on the Affordable Care Act. Contact Stacy Barrow or Nicole Quinn-Gato at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
The information provided in this alert is not, is not intended to be, and shall not be construed to be, either the provision of legal advice or an offer to provide legal services, nor does it necessarily reflect the opinions of the agency, our lawyers, or our clients. This is not legal advice. No client-lawyer relationship between you and our lawyers is or may be created by your use of this information. Rather, the content is intended as a general overview of the subject matter covered. This agency and Barrow Weatherhead Lent LLP are not obligated to provide updates on the information presented herein. Those reading this alert are encouraged to seek direct counsel on legal questions.
© 2023 Barrow Weatherhead Lent LLP. All Rights Reserved.