Government Extends Deadlines Related to Claims and Appeals, Special Enrollment and COBRA

Updated: April 13, 2021

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You should also be aware that the federal government has issued additional COVID-19 relief by temporarily giving you extra time to file claims and meet certain deadlines under both the Pension and Health Plans related to claims and appeals procedures, special enrollment periods and COBRA. The relief provides that the time period from March 1, 2020 to the date sixty (60) days after the end of the COVID-19 National Emergency will not count for purposes of applying any of the following deadlines:

  • Benefit claims;
  • Appeals of adverse benefit determinations;
  • Requests for external review;
  • Filing information for claims, appeals and requests for external review;
  • Special enrollment periods; and
  • COBRA notices, collection periods and premium payment deadlines.

Plan staff will automatically apply this temporary extension in assessing whether any of your claims, appeals or other election deadlines have been met. There is no application and nothing special you need to do in order to take advantage of the relief.

This relief does not apply to subsidized COBRA coverage offered under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. That means if you qualify for free COBRA, you must still make an election within the applicable 60-day election window, or else you may have to pay the full price of COBRA coverage if you elect to enroll in the future, or may waive your right to enroll altogether.

Please note that government guidance regarding COVID-19 relief for pension and health plans is constantly evolving. If you have concerns with respect to your benefits with the Plans, or with meeting an applicable deadline due to the COVID-19 National Emergency, please contact the Plans’ office at (323) 866-2200, Ext. 401 to determine if relief may be available to you.