Update Applicable to:
On April 10, 2023, President Biden signed H.J. Res. 7, ending the COVID-19 National Emergency on that same day.
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What are the details?
Although H.J. Res. 7 ended the COVID-19 National Emergency on April 10, 2023, it did not also accelerate the end date of the nationwide Public Health Emergency, which, as of now, is still May 11, 2023. However, this date may be accelerated if the U.S. Senate were to approve and the President were to sign a U.S. House-approved bill, H.R. 382, the “Pandemic Is Over Act.”
On March 29, 2023, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued a set of FAQs, which among other things, described how specific normal timelines under COBRA, HIPAA, and ERISA would resume under employee welfare benefits and retirement plans immediately after the anticipated July 10, 2023, end-date of the COVID-19 Outbreak Period (July 30, 2023, being the 60th day after the then-anticipated May 11, 2023, end-date of the COVID-19 National Emergency).
According to some employee benefits commentators, sources within DOL have stated informally that the DOL presently intends to stick with its previous FAQs guidance and continue to toll COBRA, HIPAA, and ERISA deadlines during a COVID-19 Outbreak Period ending on July 10, 2023, with normal deadlines resuming on July 11, 2023, despite H.J. Res. 7’s acceleration of the end-date of the COVID-19 National Emergency to April 10, 2023, from May 11, 2023. All we can say at this point is that formal clarifying guidance from the DOL would be most welcome.
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For more information, please see the links below:
What do employers need to do?
Employers should review the links provided above and continue to do their best to protect their employees.