IRS and DOL Issues Extension of Timelines for COBRA

In response to the COVID-19 Outbreak, the IRS and DOL has issued extensions of timelines affecting COBRA coverage. This relief extends the time period for COBRA notifications, elections and payments retroactively from March 1st until the end of the ‘Outbreak Period’ which is still undefined at this time. The ‘Outbreak Period’ is defined in the guidance as 60 days past the end date of the National Emergency Status established by President Trump. Assuming the National Emergency period ends on May 29th, the Outbreak Period would end on July 29th (this date will be adjusted once a final end date is confirmed).

Participants now have extended time to:

  • Elect COBRA continuation coverage
  • Make the initial and subsequent premium payments for COBRA continuation coverage
  • Notify a benefits administrator of a qualifying event or disability

Employers, Plan sponsors and TPAs, the guidance extends deadlines to execute the following:

  • Provide a COBRA election notice

What this means for your COBRA participants:
In order to comply with the guidance, during the time period of March 1st until the end of the outbreak period, when established:

  • HRPro will not terminate coverage for failure to make timely payment
  • HRPro will extend the COBRA election period for qualified beneficiaries
  • HRPro will extend the payment period for COBRA premium payments

A link to the full IRS document can be found HERE. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.