DOL Temporarily Extends COBRA Deadlines During the COVID-19 Crisis

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released a new rule that temporarily extends the period in which eligible employees can elect COBRA health insurance coverage. The ruling also extends the deadline for eligible employees to begin making COBRA premium payments and it extends the time for plan participants to file benefit claims or appeal denied claims. On May 4, the DOL and IRS jointly published Extension of Certain Timeframes for Employee Benefit Plans, Participants, and Beneficiaries Affected by the COVID-19 Outbreak. The DOL also posted a new set of COVID-19 FAQ’s for Participants and Beneficiaries to help both employees and employers navigate the new rule.