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The End of the Public Health Emergency And Its Implications

Since early 2020, the United States has been in a Public Health Emergency, which has affected health insurance and business regulations. This week, the White House announced that the State of Emergency could be lifted as early as May 11, 2023. Once lifted, certain regulations will be lifted as well.

There are two significant impacts on health insurance plans once the state of emergency is ended:

  1. The insurance requirement for coverage for a COVID vaccination will remain, but out-of-network coverage will no longer be required to be covered at 100%.
  2. Employer-sponsored health plans will not be required to cover COVID tests at 100%.

This National Public Health Emergency also extended some major deadlines that will be returned once the emergency protocols have ended:

  1. The deadline to elect and pay for COBRA Coverage Continuation.
  2. The deadline to change plan elections during a qualifying event.
  3. The deadline to file claims and claim appeals.

Once the state of emergency is lifted, there is a 60-day “Outbreak Period,” after which all standard deadlines will resume. These deadlines are scheduled to be reinstated as of July 10, 2023.

Each health plan will determine the extent to which the State of Emergency coverage requirements will be retained or modified, so be sure to be in contact with your broker regarding possible effects on your plans. These changes should also all be communicated to plan participants.

Questions? Our Benefits Advisors are here to help! Contact us today for more assistance.