President Biden announced the COVID-19 National Emergency will extend beyond March 1, 2022. It is important to note the public health emergency is different from the national emergency. The public health emergency was recently renewed on January 16, 2022 and extends for 90 days. The extension of the National Emergency affects deadline relief for several employee benefits plans.
- The 60-day period to elect COBRA coverage, the date for making COBRA premium payments (which is typically 45 days after the initial COBRA election along with a grace period for a minimum of 30 days for the following premium payments), and the date individuals notify the plan of a qualifying event or disability determination are affected. The date to notify about qualifying events or disability determination is usually 60 days from the event or loss of coverage.
- Claims procedures see two affected dates: the date on which the individual can file a claim under the plan’s claim procedure and the date on which claimants can file an appeal of an adverse benefit determination under the plan’s claims procedure.
- The 30-day or 60-day period to request special enrollment is affected.
External Review Process
- The date a claimant can file an external review request after receipt of an adverse benefit determination or final internal adverse benefit determination is affected as well as the date a claimant can file information to perfect a request for external review after discovering the request was incomplete.
Due to the extension, the deadlines can be disregarded until one year from the date the individual was first eligible for relief or 60 days after the announcement of the National Emergency/Outbreak Period. Employees should adhere to whichever date occurs first.
Be sure to monitor the tolling of the deadlines to stay in compliance. Please reach out to your dedicated Creative Benefits, Inc. team member with any questions.