The Biden Administration announced on Jan. 30 its intent to end the public health emergency and national emergency on May 11, 2023. Former President Donald Trump issued the emergency declaration in March 2020 in response to the nation’s COVID-19 crisis. President Joe Biden extended the emergency again on Feb. 18, 2022.
The House of Representatives proposed ending the emergency immediately rather than wait until May 11. The administration responded saying that an abrupt end to the emergency declarations would create chaos within the nation’s health care system.
The 60 days after the end of the national emergency will be significant as benefit related changes will take affect July 10, 2023. For plan sponsors, many benefit-related deadlines were extended as part of the national emergency, such as COBRA election and payment periods. With deadlines extensions ending, plan sponsors should work with COBRA and other third party-administrators in preparation for the rule changes affecting:
- election periods for COBRA continuation coverage
- COBRA premium payments
- HIPPA special enrollments
- claims, adverse decision appeals and external reviews