New Rule Extends Deadlines Under the ERISA and Internal Revenue Code
On April 28, 2020, the Department of Labor issued a rule that extends many deadlines under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and the Internal Revenue code. This rule impacts group health plans, disability and other welfare plans, pension plans, and participants and beneficiaries of these plans during the COVID-19 national emergency.
Below is a summary of the primary changes regarding how this rule applies to plans.
PLAN/BENEFIT: FSA,HRA, VEBA
The FSA, HRA, and VEBA deadlines are extended for individuals for:
- filing claims for benefits
- initial disposition of claims; and
- providing claimants a reasonable opportunity to appeal adverse benefit determinations under ERISA plans and non-grandfathered group health plans.
Group health plans and disability plans generally must allow at least 180 days in which to appeal. Other welfare benefit plans must allow 60 days.
The following COBRA deadlines are extended until after the outbreak period ends:
- 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 14-day deadline for plan administrators to furnish COBRA election notices
- the 60-day deadline for participants to elect COBRA
- the 45-day deadline in which to make a first premium payment and a 30-day deadline for subsequent premium payments.
PLAN/BENEFIT: HIPAA Special Enrollment
The 30- and 60-day HIPAA special enrollment periods are extended:
- The 30-day special enrollment periods may be triggered when eligible employees or dependents lose eligibility for other health plan coverage in which they were previously enrolled, and when an eligible employee acquires a dependent through birth, marriage, adoption, or placement for adoption.
- The 60-day special enrollment periods may be triggered by changes in eligibility for state premium assistance under the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
PLAN/BENEFIT: Furnishing Notices
Plans will not be treated as having violated ERISA if they act in good faith and furnish any notices, disclosures, or documents that would otherwise have to be furnished during the outbreak period.
This includes those requested in writing by a participant or beneficiary “as soon as administratively practicable under the circumstances”.
PLAN/BENEFIT: TRA, DCAP, HSA
TRA, DCAP and HSA deadlines have not been impacted by this rule.
As always, please feel free to reach out to your Corporate Benefits Advisor or Relationship Manager with any questions or guidance regarding this update.
We wish you, your team members, and your families good health and safety as we all continue to endure these changing times.
Your Brooks Financial Group Team