COVID-19 National Emergency Ends – What You Need to Know
Breaking News: COVID-19 National Emergency Ends Sooner Than Expected – What You Need to Know
President Biden has signed a resolution ending the national emergency for COVID-19, which had been in place since 2020. The announcement came earlier than previously scheduled, with the national emergency ending on April 10, 2023, instead of May 11, 2023. However, the public health emergency is still scheduled to end on May 11, 2023.
The change in timeline will impact various employee benefit plan deadlines that were previously extended by disregarding an “outbreak period” from March 1, 2020, until 60 days after the announced end of the national emergency. As a result, the outbreak period will now end on June 9, 2023, and health plans can return to their non-extended deadlines.
During the outbreak period, key deadlines related to HIPAA time frames, COBRA time frames, claims procedure time frames, and external review process time frames were extended. However, once the outbreak period ends, these deadlines will revert to their original timeframes.
The Biden administration has stated that it will continue working with federal agencies to wind down the national emergency. Prior guidance issued on March 29, 2023, provides clarifications on how certain health plan requirements related to the COVID-19 pandemic will change when the emergency periods end. Plan sponsors and employers must clearly communicate any changes made to a plan or coverage after the end of the PHE or national emergency to participants and beneficiaries before they take effect.
It’s important to note that this update is not intended to be exhaustive and should not be considered legal advice. Readers should contact legal counsel for legal advice. Additional resources on the ending of the COVID-19 emergency periods are available on the Department of Labor’s Response to COVID-19 website.
This Legal Update is not intended to be exhaustive nor should be considered a legal advice. Readers should contact legal counsel for legal advice. Information is provided by Zywave, Inc. All Rights Reserved.