Archived Insight | January 13, 2021

HHS Extends the National Public Health Emergency into April

The federal government has extended the COVID-19 public health emergency for an additional 90 days, until April 21, 2021.

This is the fourth extension of the emergency, which the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services initially declared on January 31, 2020 (retroactive to January 27, 2020). The secretary could terminate the public health emergency earlier than April 21, 2021 or extend it again.

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This public emergency declaration is important to health plan sponsors because it determines the period of time during which group health plans and insurers must pay for COVID-19 tests and related services without charging cost sharing. In addition, non-grandfathered plans must cover vaccines in network as a preventive benefit, but during the public emergency must also cover it on an out-of-network basis.

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This page is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, tax or investment advice. You are encouraged to discuss the issues raised here with your legal, tax and other advisors before determining how the issues apply to your specific situations.