HHS Extends Public Health Emergency to January 2021

On Friday, October 2, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) extended the declaration of a public health emergency another 90 days, effective October 23, 2020.  This means group health plan requirements under the FFCRA and CARES Act will continue until at least January 20, 2021, including the requirement to cover Covid-19 diagnostic testing without imposing cost-sharing, pre-authorization requirements, or other medical management restrictions.

Note this public health emergency is separate from the President’s Covid-19 National Emergency declaration, which will be in effect until the President or Congress declare the national emergency has ended.  The “outbreak period” extensions (which began March 1, 2020, and provide extra time under HIPAA special enrollment rights, COBRA rights, and timely filing rights of ERISA claims and appeals) will be in effect until 60 days after the announced end of the national emergency.

IMA will continue to monitor regulator guidance and offer meaningful, practical, timely information.

This material should not be considered as a substitute for legal, tax and/or actuarial advice. Contact the appropriate professional counsel for such matters. These materials are not exhaustive and are subject to possible changes in applicable laws, rules, and regulations and their interpretations.

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