News & Analysis as of

Employee Benefits Developments - July 2014

In May 2014, the Departments of Labor (DOL), Health and Human Services (HHS), and Treasury issued Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Part XIX, addressing, among other subjects, the following: The newly revised DOL model...more

U.S. Department of Labor Issues Proposed Regulations and New Model COBRA Notices

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently issued new proposed COBRA regulations. The regulations include an updated model general notice and model election notice under the federal COBRA law. Use of the model notices is not...more

Shorts on Long Term Care - Summer 2014

In this issue: - Nursing Facility Survey Trends: Directed Plans of Correction, Privacy Violations and FTag 520 Quality Assurance Committee Citations - COBRA Meets ACA – Time to Update COBRA Notices -...more

Rethinking COBRA After Health Care Reform

The Health Care Reform Act made many changes to health plans, but one thing it did not do was expressly eliminate or change the COBRA rules. Although health care reform does not expressly change COBRA, it does, in many ways,...more

Updated Model COBRA and CHIPRA Notices

Since January 1, 2014, individuals and employees have been able to purchase medical health insurance coverage through federal and state exchanges (the “Exchanges”). Questions have remained, however, as to how health coverage...more

The Affordable Care Act—Countdown to Compliance for Employers, Week 27: COBRA, Marketplace Coverage, Stability Periods, and...

Recent developments under the Affordable Care Act and COBRA, and existing rules governing mid-year election changes under cafeteria plans, have combined to make it challenging for certain terminating employees and those...more

Changes to COBRA Notices and New Limited Special Enrollment Period

As employers think about the upcoming employer shared responsibility mandate, they should also be thinking about how the individual mandate and the Federally-facilitated Marketplace (the “Marketplace”) will affect their...more

COBRA Meets ACA – Time to Update COBRA Notices

The Affordable Care Act created a new option to obtain health insurance for employees who are losing job-based coverage—the Health Insurance Marketplace (commonly referred to as the “Exchange”). Because this new coverage...more

Monthly Benefits Update

Health & Welfare Plans - July 1 Deadline to Begin Measuring Employee Hours for ACA Employer Mandate/“Pay or Play” - As we have discussed in many previous alerts, the Affordable Care Act’s employer shared...more

Special Open Enrollment Period Under Federal Health Care Marketplace For COBRA

A year ago, the Department of Labor (DOL) released model general notice and model election notice forms for providing COBRA notices to employees in anticipation of the availability of alternative individual health insurance...more

New COBRA Notices Are Now Available on the Department of Labor Website

Just a note to let you know that the updated COBRA model General and Election Notices can now be found at www.dol.gov/ebsa/compliance_assistance.html. The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985...more

Quick! Do Employers Need To Update Their COBRA Notices?

On May 2, 2014, the Department of Labor ("DOL") issued new model COBRA notices in conjunction with a proposed rule that would shift the role of the DOL's model COBRA notices from a helpful example to an indicator of required...more

DOL Issues Updated Model COBRA Notices

On May 2, 2014, the Department of Labor (the “DOL”) issued proposed regulations amending the notice requirements under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985, as amended (“COBRA”). The proposed regulations...more

New COBRA and CHIP Notices Highlight Affordable Care Act Marketplaces

The Department of Labor recently issued updated model COBRA continuation coverage and Childrens’ Health Insurance Program (“CHIP”) notices. Plan administrators should begin using the new notices immediately. ...more

HEAL Advisory: New COBRA Model Notices and Coordination with Marketplace Enrollment

On May 2, 2014, the U.S. Departments of Labor and Health and Human Services published a series of guidance and model notices clarifying the provision of health insurance to recently terminated employees. The Department of...more

A Snake in the Grass No More? DOL Proposes New COBRA Forms

As part of its continuing efforts to update the sleepier corners of the employee benefits world to conform to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently proposed new...more

HHS Creates A New And Limited Special Enrollment Opportunity In States With Federally-Facilitated Health Insurance Exchanges

On May 2, 2014, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released guidance which creates a special enrollment opportunity in states with a federally-facilitated health insurance Marketplace (Marketplace) for...more

New Model COBRA Notices

To coordinate information about the new marketplace/exchange coverage that may be available under the Affordable Care Act, today the U.S. Department of Labor, in conjunction with the IRS and U.S. Department of Health and...more

New FAQs Address Effect of Affordable Care Act on COBRA and Other Matters

In a wide-ranging set of frequently asked questions (FAQs) and other guidance, the U.S. Departments of Labor, Treasury, and Health and Human Services have addressed a number of issues pertaining to the Affordable Care Act...more

New Guidance on COBRA and ACA Marketplace Coverage: The Gap in Coverage is (Not Quite) Filled

There has been much confusion and concern about the interplay between the COBRA continuation coverage rules and the new Health Insurance Marketplace established under the Affordable Care Act (the “Marketplace”). One important...more

COBRA Coverage Too Expensive? Consider ACA Coverage Instead, Obama Administration Says

On Friday, the Obama administration announced a proposed rule (the “Proposed Rule”) that will require that notices sent to workers regarding Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (“COBRA”) health insurance coverage...more

The Affordable Care Act—Countdown to Compliance for Employers, Week 36: Hacking the Affordable Care Act’s $100/Day Penalties for...

Particularly with the issuance of final regulations under the Affordable Care Act’s employer shared responsibility rules, employers have been concerned—justifiably—with the pay-or-play penalties. ...more

ACA, HIPAA, COBRA and HSA Penalties: What Do They Mean?

What do all of these acronyms stand for and why do employers and human resource professionals care? These acronyms stand for statutory requirements which apply to employer-provided health plans and stiff penalties can apply...more

Failure to Provide COBRA Notice May Not Result in Penalties

Occasionally employers who act as the plan sponsor of a group health plan discover that they have neglected to send a “COBRA notice” to an employee who has been terminated. Recent Federal Court decisions within the Eighth...more

Group Health Plans: Year-End Action Items and Upcoming Changes

Group health plan sponsors turn their attention to completing 2013 tasks, implementing upcoming 2014 changes, preparing for the ACA Shared Responsibility requirement in 2015, and documenting recent extensive plan changes....more

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