Archived Insight | July 21, 2021

The National Public Health Emergency Extended into October

Effective July 20, 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 October 18, 2021.

Doctors Wearing Ppe

This is the sixth 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 October 18, 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.

Plan sponsors should ensure that plans are administered consistently with the requirements for the public health emergency. 

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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.