EBSA and IRS Extend Group Health Plan Deadlines

The Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) of the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued a joint notice published in the Federal Register on May 4 extending certain deadlines for group health plans so plan participants, beneficiaries, and employers have additional time during the COVID-19 outbreak to make critical health coverage and other decisions affecting benefits. For group health plans subject to ERISA or the Internal Revenue Code, the relief provides additional time to comply with certain deadlines affecting COBRA continuation coverage, special enrollment periods, claims for benefits, appeals of denied claims, and external review of certain claims. With regard to disability, retirement, and other plans, the joint notice provides additional time for participants and beneficiaries to make claims for benefits and appeal denied claims.