Guardian Preparedness / Response

Special Accommodations for Employees

COBRA & Section 125 Special Enrollment, Election Periods, and Payment Parameters

The Department of Labor final rule, "Extension of Certain Timeframes for Employee Benefit Plans, Participants, and Beneficiaries Affected by the COVID-19 Outbreak" extends time periods for federally mandated Special Enrollment Periods, COBRA election and payment parameters. The IRS also released guidance, "Increased Flexibility with Respect to Mid-Year Elections under a §125 Cafeteria Plan during Calendar Year 2020".  This guidance allows but does not require that employees covered under a §125 plan make mid-year elections for health coverage, health FSAs, and dependent care assistance programs, in response to a change of need due to COVID-19.

Coverage and Eligibility

Federal and State Programs

Claims Handling

Billing and Payment

Plan Renewals

Dental and Vision


The information presented here is for informational purposes and is not intended to serve as legal advice. Please consult with appropriate professionals for legal, compliance, and tax counsel as needed. Please refer to any relevant insurance policy or absence management agreement you have with Guardian for more specified contract details. In the event of any conflict between the information presented here and the relevant policy/agreement, the policy/agreement will control.

*Ratings are as of 12/19 and are subject to change.

Insurance products are underwritten and issued by The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, New York, NY. Products are not available in all states.  Policy limitations and exclusions apply.  Optional riders and/or features may incur additional costs. 

WorkLifeMatters Program services are provided by Integrated Behavioral Health, Inc., and its contractors. Guardian does not provide any part of WorkLifeMatters program services. Guardian is not responsible or liable for care or advice given by any provider or resource under the program.

GUARDIAN® is a registered service mark of The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America®