Early End of COVID National Emergency Declared April 10, 2023
President Biden signed a resolution terminating the COVID National Emergency as of April 10, 2023. This accelerates the May 11 termination date for the COVID National Emergency announced on January 30, 2023, and means that the benefits-related COVID relief provisions will now expire one month earlier.
This leaves plan sponsors and their advisors one month less time to adjust their documents and practices relating to the following provisions which allowed individuals extra time to (among other things):
- Make COBRA elections, pay COBRA premiums and provide required notices to group health plans of qualifying events
- Make benefit claims and appeal any denial of benefit claims
- Request special enrollment in group health plans based on loss of other group health coverage, marriage, or the birth or adoption of a child.
Note that the related "Public Health Emergency" still extends to May 11, 2023, which means that group health plans must continue to provide COVID-19 testing and vaccinations without cost to covered individuals through that date.
Employers need to contact their third-party plan administrators and/or other plan advisors concerning plan documents and practice changes responsive to the post-COVID timing rules. And they need to do so ASAP.