All group health and welfare benefit plans subject to COBRA must now disregard the period from March 1, 2020 until 60 days after the announced end of the National Emergency (the “Outbreak Period”) for all plan participants, beneficiaries, qualified beneficiaries or claimants when determining deadlines for COBRA.
The multiple COBRA deadlines that have been extended until after the Outbreak Period ends include:
- The 30 or 60-day deadline for employers or individuals to notify the plan of a qualifying event;
- The 60-day deadline for individuals to notify the plan of a determination of disability;
- The 60-day deadline for participants to elect COBRA; and
- The 45-day deadline to make a first premium payment and 30-day deadline for subsequent premium payments.
In addition, the Outbreak Period is disregarded when determining the date an employer must send a COBRA election notice to individuals whose coverage is ending, which provides some relief to those employers whose operations may currently be shut down.
Employers should revise COBRA notices to include the new extensions of time granted for election and remittance of COBRA premiums.
HR Works Can Help
HR Works’ Benefits Administration Service helps employers with the administrative burden of COBRA. If you are not currently an HR Works Benefits Administration client and need our compliance expertise and support, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org, go to the “Contact Us” section of our website or call 1-877-219-9062. We will connect you with a representative who can provide additional information about our services.
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