The US Department of Labor (DOL) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) earlier this month issued a Joint Rule extending certain time frames for group health plans and other welfare and pension plans. In accordance with this latest Rule, plans must disregard the period from March 1, 2020 until 60 days after the announced end of the National Emergency related to the COVID-19 outbreak. This period is now referred to as the “Outbreak Period”, and disregarding the outbreak period provides relief in determining such deadlines as: the 60-day election period for COBRA continuation coverage; the date for making COBRA premium payments; and the date for individuals to notify the plan of a qualifying event. As an example, the rule provides that the deadline for an employee given a COBRA election notice on April 1 would be 60 days after the official end of the National Emergency. If the emergency was declared over on June 29, 2020 then the COBRA election notice would be due on August 28, 2020. Note these dates are hypothetical.