As previously reported, the COVID-19 public health emergency and national emergency were set to come to an end on May 11, 2023, but President Biden signed in bipartisan legislation set forth by Congress ending the national emergency on April 10, 2023.
Please Note: This new legislation is only ending the national emergency earlier than previously reported. The public health emergency end date remains May 11, 2023.
The end of the national emergency signifies the ending of the “Outbreak Period” which allowed for numerous timeframe extensions for many of your plan’s provisions. Since 2020, the normal plan deadlines for the following items were to be disregarded until the earlier of one year from the date they were first eligible for relief or sixty (60) days after the announced end of the national emergency at which point the normal plan deadlines may resume. The plan provisions subject to these extensions are:
- HIPAA Special Enrollment;
- COBRA election period;
- Deadline to furnish the COBRA election notice;
- Date for making COBRA premium payments;
- Claim filing deadlines;
- The date a participant must notify the plan of a qualifying event or determination of disability;
- The date in which the participant may file an appeal of an adverse benefit determination;
- The date in which the participant may request an external review after an adverse benefit determination or final internal adverse benefit determination; and
- The date in which a participant may file information to perfect a request for external review upon finding that the initial request was not complete.
Since the national emergency will now be ending on April 10, 2023, the tolling period will come to an end on June 9, 2023 (60 days following the end of the Outbreak Period). To determine when to begin calculating your normal plan deadlines, the following will be your easy to apply rule:
- If any of the above events took place prior to June 9, 2022, the one-year mark would have passed and calculation of the normal plan deadline should have already begun.
- If any of the above events took place on or after June 9, 2022, calculation of the normal plan deadlines should begin on June 9, 2023.
The above summary should not be taken as legal advice.