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Updated Guidance: COBRA, HIPAA, and Claims Timeframes

March 3, 2021 | Brown & Brown Communications | In The Media

We have received guidance regarding how the temporary extension of COBRA, HIPAA, and claims filing timeframes should be treated after February 28, 2021.

Last April’s EBSA Disaster Relief Notice 2020-01 provided extensions for certain deadlines for COBRA, HIPAA, and claims filing timeframes that were effective March 1, 2020. Under the extension, the affected timelines were “paused” until the earlier of the end of the “Outbreak Period” (60 days after the COVID-19 national emergency was declared over) or one year (February 28, 2021).

On February 26, 2021, EBSA issued Disaster Relief Notice 2021-01 (below), clarifying the timeline extensions granted in the earlier Notice

Individuals and plans with timeframes that are subject to the relief under the Notices will have the applicable periods under the Notices disregarded until the earlier of:

(a)  One (1) year from the date they were first eligible for relief, or

(b)  60 days after the announced end of the National Emergency (the end of the Outbreak Period).

The timeframes for individuals and plans with periods that were previously disregarded under the Notices will resume on the applicable date. In no case will a disregarded period exceed one (1) year.

What does this mean?

  1. Example: Participant experienced a qualifying event and received a COBRA election notice on December 1, 2020. Participant now has until January 30, 2022 to elect retroactive COBRA coverage unless the outbreak period ends earlier.
  2. Example: New baby was born on February 28th, 2021. Participant now has until March 28, 2022 to enroll self and child (and spouse if desired), retroactive to February 28, 2021, unless the outbreak period ends earlier.


Download an overview the Brown & Brown Research and Compliance team created below.

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