By Jerry Geisel
Mar. 21, 2012
Employers will receive additional flexibility, but not an extension to comply with rules dictated by the health care reform law that will require them to revamp how they communicate and explain their health care plans.
In February, the Obama administration delayed by six months the requirement to distribute to employees the new summary of benefits and coverage statement.
The requirement will go into effect for plan years that begin on or after Sept. 23, 2012. For example, if a plan year begins on Jan. 1, 2013, and the employer’s open enrollment period is from Oct. 1 to Nov. 1, the new SBC would have to be available by Oct. 1, 2012.
Benefit experts had hoped the administration would provide another extension, but none was provided in a batch of frequently asked questions issued March 19 by the departments of Health and Human Services, Labor and Treasury.
“They missed the most important issue. There is no hint of any delay in the compliance date,” said Andy Anderson, a partner with Morgan Lewis & Bockius L.L.P. in Chicago.
Still, regulators said they do not intend to impose penalties during the first year the requirement is in effect so long as employers are working in “good faith” to comply.
“That’s a good attitude,” said Anne Waidmann, a director with PricewaterhouseCoopers L.L.P. in Washington.
Clarifications made by regulators in the FAQs include making clear that separate summary of benefits and coverage statements do not have to be provided for each coverage tier.
“Plans and issuers may combine information for different coverage tiers in the SBC, provided the appearance is understandable,” regulators said.
We build robust scheduling & attendance software for businesses with 500+ frontline workers. With custom BI reporting and demand-driven scheduling, we help our customers reduce labor spend and increase profitability across their business. It's as simple as that.
BenefitsEEOC says that employers legally can offer incentives to employees to get vaccinated in almost all instances
If you’re an employer looking to get as many of your employees vaccinated as possible, you can rest eas...
ADA, CDC, COVID-19, EEOC, GINA, pandemic, vaccinated
BenefitsFixing some common misconceptions about HIPAA
Ever since the CDC amended its COVID-19 guidance to say that the fully vaccinated no longer need to wea...
COVID-19, health care, HIPAA, human resources, wellness
BenefitsWe are in the midst of a public mental health crisis; how employers can help
Do not ignore these issues or your employees who are living with them. Mental health illnesses are no d...
ADA, benefits, Coronavirus, FMLA, mental health, paid time off