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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

October 6, 2021


[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS Notice 2021-58: Extension of COBRA Election and Premium Payment Deadlines Under Section 7508A(b) (PDF)

11 pages. "This notice clarifies the application of certain extensions under [COBRA] for the election of COBRA coverage and payment of COBRA premiums under the Joint Notification of Extensions of Certain Timeframes for Employee Benefit Plans, Participants, and Beneficiaries Affected by the COVID-19 Outbreak (Joint Notice) issued by the [DOL], the Department of the Treasury, and the [IRS] ... and the additional guidance provided by [EBSA] Disaster Relief Notice 2021-01 ... This notice also addresses the interaction of COBRA continuation coverage under the Emergency Relief Notices with the COBRA premium assistance available for certain individuals under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 [ARPA].... DOL and HHS have advised the Treasury Department and the IRS that they concur with the guidance provided in this notice as applicable to the laws under their respective jurisdictions....

"Under the Emergency Relief Notices, up to one year must be disregarded in determining the due dates for individuals to elect COBRA continuation coverage and pay COBRA premiums during the Outbreak Period. This notice clarifies that the disregarded period for an individual to elect COBRA continuation coverage and the disregarded period for the individual to make initial and subsequent COBRA premium payments generally run concurrently....

"[In] no event will an individual be required to make the initial premium payment before November 1, 2021, even if November 1, 2021 is more than one year and 105 days after the date the election notice was received, provided that the individual makes the initial premium payment within one year and 45 days after the date of the election....

"The extensions of the timeframes under the Emergency Relief Notices do not apply to the periods for providing the required notice of the ARP extended election period or for electing COBRA continuation coverage with COBRA premium assistance under [ARPA]."  MORE >>

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

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BenefitsLink Retirement Plans Newsletter, ISSN no. 1536-9587.

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