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Coronavirus Public Health Emergency Renewed

public health emergency

1.5 minute read

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has renewed its declaration of a public health emergency as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Effective October 23, 2020, a public health emergency generally lasts 90 days or until HHS declares its end. It can be extended if the public health emergency continues to exist. The public health emergency was first declared on January 27, 2020, and then renewed on April 21, 2020, and July 23, 2020.

With the public health emergency, certain requirements under FFCRA (The Families First Coronavirus Response Act) and CARES Act (The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act) are extended in duration. Group health plans must cover certain COVID-19 related diagnostic and preventive health services without cost-sharing or other barriers. Requirements are effective from March 18, 2020, through the duration of the public health emergency.

The public health declaration is different than the COVID-19 National Emergency declared by President Trump. The National Emergency impacts the end of the outbreak period (March 1, 2020) for deadlines related to employee benefit plan deadlines, COBRA continuation coverage, and HIPAA special enrollment.

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This blog is intended to be a compilation of information and resources pulled from federal, state, and local agencies. This is not intended to be legal advice. For up to the minute information and guidance on COVID-19, please follow the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and your local health organizations.

National Insurance Services is not a law firm and no opinion, suggestion, or recommendation of the firm or its employees shall constitute legal advice. Readers are advised to consult with their own attorney for a determination of their legal rights, responsibilities and liabilities, including the interpretation of any statute or regulation, or its application to the readers’ business activities.

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Bill Enright

Bill Enright

Bill Enright is Director of Consulting Services at National Insurance Services (NIS). He’s responsible for the management, fulfillment, and strategic direction of the full benefit consulting clients and services and the professional development of NIS full benefit consulting personnel. Bill is a 29+ year veteran in the employee benefits industry, from insurance carrier, benefit consultant, and now director. He has been published on the topics of health care reform and has served on the advisory committees and insurance lobbying groups at the state and local level. Bill served in the U.S Army Reserves as a non-commissioned officer for 11 years. He’s also involved with Special Olympics, youth sports coaching, and is a small group leader at his church.