Recently, Anthem let you know that they planned to reinstate certain health plan timeframes they suspended effective March 1, 2020, under federal guidance. Anthem will begin reinstating these timeframes on March 1, 2021. On February 26, 2021, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) provided additional guidance on continuation of relief for employee benefit plans, including the duration of the "outbreak period."
Under Notice 2021-01, the DOL clarified that each eligible individual has their own one-year "outbreak period," unless the National Emergency ends before the end of that one-year period. The DOL states:
"Individuals and plans with timeframes that are subject to the relief will have timeframes suspended until the earlier of (a) 1 year from the date they were first eligible for relief; or, (b) 60 days after the announced end of the National Emergency (the end of the Outbreak Period)."
March 1, 2020, the first day of the National Emergency, was the first date that an individual or plan could have been eligible for relief. Therefore, March 1, 2021, is the earliest date that plan timeframes can resume. On the applicable date for each eligible member, Anthem will reinstate the timeframes that they suspended last year. No timeframe suspensions will be longer than one year.
Please encourage your clients to submit any updated eligibility information, claims, or appeals as soon as possible.
This applies to fully insured and self-funded ERISA employer-sponsored plans only.
Anthem's primary focus remains on their members' health and well-being, and making sure they have access to the care they need. If they have questions or need help, they can call the Member Services number on their ID cards.
Here is a letter for you to share with your clients to explain the end of the timeframe suspension.
For questions, please contact your B&P Sales Rep - 888.722.3373.