Quick Facts:Last week, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued new guidance regarding notice and disclosure timeframe relief for employee benefit plans and plan participants due to COVID-19. EBSA Disaster Relief Notice 2021-01 (The Joint Notice) clarifies that the deadline for extended timeframes, such as a COBRA election, will be based upon the date each participant’s individual action would have otherwise been required, rather than on a fixed period applicable to all notices and disclosures.
The decision to extend relief periods on a case-by-case basis may be beneficial to many participants but will obviously create significant compliance and administrative challenges for employers. Also, while not clearly required, the guidance encourages employers to communicate revised deadlines for elections, payments, and losses of coverage when possible.
For more information, including examples and next steps, click below: