Archived Insight | April 20, 2021

HHS Extends the National Public Health Emergency into July

Effective April 21, 2021, the federal government extended the COVID-19 public health emergency. That means the public health emergency will last for at least an additional 90 days, until July 20, 2021.

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This is the fifth 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 July 20, 2021 or extend it again.

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 them 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.