COVID-19 Extended Deadlines Ending Soon

Informal guidance provided by the Department of Labor, Treasury Department, and Department of Health and Human Services has indicated that the COVID-19 Outbreak Period will end on July 10, 2023.

What does this mean for employers and plan participants?

As of July 10, 2023, normal deadlines will apply for these events:

  • HIPAA special enrollment periods
  • 60-day election period for COBRA continuation coverage
  • Date for making COBRA continuation coverage premium payments
  • Date for individuals to notify a health plan of a qualifying event or determination of disability
  • Date that individuals can make a claim for benefits under the plan's claims procedures
  • Date for individuals to perfect an incomplete claim
  • Date for appealing denied claims and for external review of claims denials
  • Date that a group health plan sponsor or administrator must provide a COBRA election notice

During the Outbreak Period, the extension of deadlines applied on a person-by person basis, extending each deadline one year from the date the individual was first eligible for relief, or until 60 days after the announced end of the National Emergency (July 10, 2023). This means that if any of the events listed above occur after July 10, 2022, the normal timeframes allowed will begin on July 10, 2023.

For example, if a particular event occurred on July 11, 2022, and normally has a 30-day deadline, that deadline is now August 9, 2023. In fact, any similar event that occurs after July 10, 2022 and on or before July 10, 2023, also has a deadline of August 9, 2023.

Please see this informative chart for additional details.

Actions we are taking

We have updated all processes and systems to reflect the end of the Outbreak Period and the resumption of the standard deadlines, including the following:

  • All Savings and Spending Account plans have been updated to reflect the new final filing dates based on the end of the Outbreak Period being July 10, 2023. For example, if your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) normally has a runout period of 90 days after the end of the plan year and the plan year ended on December 31, 2022, then we have set the final filing date to be October 8, 2023 (90 days following the end of the Outbreak Period).
  • After August 30, 2023, we will no longer accept late COBRA payments or election forms.
  • After September 8, 2023, we will no longer include an insert explaining COVID extensions in COBRA election notices.

We are also doing the following to assist employers and plan participants:

  • Savings and Spending Account portals will include announcements that extensions are ending and instruct participants how to find the claims filing deadlines for their plans.
  • Our COBRA portal will also include an announcement that we will be returning to normal deadlines. (We will not post the announcement in participants’ online accounts if the extensions did not apply to their plans.)

Actions employers should consider

  • Update plan-related documents and SPDs if changes were made due to the Outbreak Period.
  • Update participant communication materials to reflect accurate deadlines based on the end of the Outbreak Period.