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COVID-19 Qualifying Life Event expansion

Starting March 1, 2020, carriers and employers are required to allow employees with certain Qualifying Life Events (QLE) to enroll, unenroll, or change health coverage with no 30 or 60-day deadline. This is a mandatory requirement for all employer-sponsored plans from all carriers under the EBSA Disaster Relief Notice 2020-01 (issued on May 4, 2020).

Qualifying Life Events with paused deadlines: 

  • Loss of eligibility for individual or other group health coverage
  • Marriage
  • Gaining a dependent (including birth or adoption of a child) 
  • Loss of or gaining Medicaid or CHIP eligibility

Details and requirements

  • Paused deadlines will extend until 60 days after the National Emergency for COVID-19 ends, which is currently unknown.
  • These changes apply to all employer-sponsored plans, as well as COBRA elections and Health Flexible Spending Accounts.
  • All employees and employers should submit QLEs in Gusto as soon as possible. Later enrollments can result in back payments for premiums for both the employee and employers, which can cause financial strain.
  • Employers and employees are responsible for paying all premiums back to the employee's effective date. 
  • Please contact your carrier if you have questions about the requirements of your contract. 

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