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COBRA Election and Premium Payment Extensions

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.

Next Steps

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, 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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HR Works, headquartered in Upstate New York, is a human resource management outsourcing and consulting firm serving clients throughout the United States for over thirty years. HR Works provides scalable strategic human resource management and consulting services, including: affirmative action programs; benefits administration outsourcing; HRIS self-service technology; full-time, part-time and interim on-site HR managers; HR audits; legally reviewed employee handbooks and supervisor manuals; talent management and recruiting services; and training of managers and HR professionals.