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New Guidance Offers Relief and Extends Deadlines For Benefit Plans

May 05, 2020
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The Department of Labor’s Employee Benefit Security Administration (EBSA), along with the Treasury Department, issued several pieces of guidance over the last week affecting employer-sponsored benefit programs.

Briefly, the guidance provides the following:

  • Employee Relief. Participants have an extension until at least June 29, 2020 of deadlines related to COBRA notification, elections and premium payment; special enrollment requests; and to make timely claims.
  • Employer Relief. Employers have relief related to deadlines for furnishing required notices to plan
    participants and flexibility around electronic delivery of these notices.
  • Revised Model COBRA Notices. A new General Notice and Election Notice are available, along with a new FAQ addressing COBRA and Medicare interaction.

The guidance brings helpful relief for employers, but it is important to pay attention to the timing extensions under the final rule, as these may create additional administrative burdens.

  • Final Rule: The final rule requires all group health plans, disability, and other employee welfare benefit plans to disregard the period from March 1, 2020 until 60 days after the announced end of the National Emergency (the “Outbreak Period”) when determining the periods and dates for particular enrollments.

To learn more about the Final Rule and read the whole article- New Guidance Offers Relief and Extends Deadlines for Benefit Plans