The US Department of Health and Human Services has extended the public health emergency declared for COVID-19. The public health emergency has extended to January 22, 2021. Conner Strong & Buckelew has highlighted some of the impacts this has on health plans and programs.

From Conner Strong & Buckelew:

Various group health plan (GHP) related deadlines are extended due to the PHE (unless the agencies announce a different end date for purposes of these extensions). Joint DOL and IRS guidance extends numerous deadlines by specifying that the “outbreak period” beginning March 1, 2020, and ending 60 days after the announced end of the PHE is to be disregarded for specified purposes. Said differently, the rules “freeze” timely deadlines for the duration of the outbreak period.

Keep in mind that some COVID-19-related guidance may have different end dates (for instance, testing and diagnostic services under FFCRA and the CARES Act), and the timing is still in flux. Conner Strong & Buckelew will provide alerts and updates as new information becomes available and pronouncements are made about the end of the national emergency and the PHE and as guidance is issued that otherwise extends, terminates, or modifies deadline relief.