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Article | Insider

President Biden extends national emergency, Outbreak Period rules continue

By Maureen Gammon and Anu Gogna | March 2, 2022

The national COVID-19 emergency is extended one year, to March 1, 2023, along with deadline relief for health plans and participants.
Benefits Administration and Outsourcing Solutions|Health and Benefits
COVID 19 Coronavirus

On February 18, 2022, President Biden issued a notice extending the national emergency for the COVID-19 pandemic beyond its March 1 expiration date. First declared in 2020 by President Trump, the national emergency will remain in effect until March 1, 2023, unless President Biden terminates it earlier.

Deadline relief for health plans and participants continues during the extended national emergency. Under the “Outbreak Period” rules issued by the Departments of Labor and Treasury, several important deadlines are extended, including those for the following Internal Revenue Code and ERISA requirements:1

  • Making COBRA elections
  • Making COBRA premium payments
  • Providing COBRA election notices (from the plan administrator to qualified beneficiaries)
  • Requesting HIPAA special enrollments
  • Filing benefit claims or appeals or requesting an external review of an adverse benefits determination

Footnote

1 For more information on the Outbreak Period rules, see “Health and welfare plan time frames extended due to COVID-19,” Insider, May 2020; “DOL guidance on end of COVID-19 ‘Outbreak Period',” Insider, March 2021; and “IRS clarifies COBRA time frame extensions,” Insider, October 2021.

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Senior Regulatory Advisor, Health and Benefits

Senior Regulatory Advisor, Health and Benefits

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