Blog Posts: Benefits Law Update

IRS and DOL Extend Certain Health & Welfare Benefit Plan-Related Deadlines

This post summarizes the health and welfare benefit plan-related deadline extensions described in IRS Notice 2020-23 issued April 9, 2020 and the DOL and Treasury Joint Notice issued April 28, 2020 (the “Joint Notice”).

IRS Notice 2020-23 expands upon previously issued guidance extending certain tax filing and payment deadlines in response to the ongoing COVID-19 National Emergency. The Notice applies to specified filing obligations and other actions that would ordinarily have a deadline on or after April 1 and before July 15, 2020. As it relates to health and welfare plans, the chart below summarizes the Notice’s limited Form 5500 filing relief and extensions of certain deadlines relating to Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and Archer Medical Savings Accounts (MSAs).

The Joint Notice provides unprecedented extensions of certain HIPAA, COBRA, and claims procedure deadlines for participants, beneficiaries, group health and other welfare benefit plans, and plan administrators by requiring plans to disregard the “Outbreak Period” when determining the specified deadlines. The Joint Notice defines the Outbreak Period as the period from March 1, 2020 until 60 days after the announced end of the COVID-19 National Emergency (or such other date announced in future guidance). To the extent there are different Outbreak Period end dates for different parts of the country, additional guidance will be issued regarding the application of the relief provided in the Joint Notice.

Click here to access a summary in chart form of the health and welfare benefit plan-related deadline extensions described in IRS Notice 2020-23 and the Joint Notice.

Please contact a member of our Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Group if you have any questions regarding the extended deadlines.

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