COVID-19 FAQs for Participants and Beneficiaries

The Department of Labor (DOL) has issued Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to help employee benefit plan participants, beneficiaries and employers impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak understand their rights and responsibilities. In general the FAQs provide information on:

  • certain time frames affecting a participant’s right to health care coverage, portability, and continuation of group health plan coverage under COBRA after employment ends;
  • information to extend the time for plan participants to file or perfect benefit claims or appeals of denied claims;
  • the time for plan officials to furnish benefit statements, annual funding notices, and other notices and disclosures required by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).

In addition, during the COVID-19 emergency period only which began March 1 and ends 60 days after the period officially ends or one year from the commencement of the order whichever occurs first, changes to health, dental and health care and dependent care flexible spending accounts is allowed.

For items unrelated to a qualified event, changes take effect prospectively (first of the next month) even if unrelated to a qualified life event. To make changes, use the following instructions:

  1. Login to the EBS Portal using your NetID and password
  2. Select My Benefits from the top navigation
  3. Click on the Benefits/Retirement tile
  4. Select Enrollment and Changes due to the National Emergency from the dropdown menu
  5. Make any necessary changes

Upon saving your changes, you will receive a benefit confirmation statement with your new/changed elections.

If you are on an unpaid leave of absence you will need to complete enrollment using the Offline Enrollment\Change Form.

For items related to a qualified event, you have the ability to make changes retroactively to the event if the event occurred less than 1 year prior. To make changes, you will need to complete enrollment using the Offline Enrollment\Change Form.

Access the FAQs here.


Contact the Solutions Center at 517-353-4434 or with questions.