Updated COBRA and CHIP Model Notices for Employers

Reminder: Updated COBRA and CHIP     Model Notices for Employers

Employers and group health plan     administrators who have not done so already will want to download the U.S.     Department of Labor’s revised COBRA Model General Notice, COBRA Model Election Notice, and CHIP     Model Notice. The updated model notices reflect that coverage is     now available through the Health Insurance Marketplace (Exchange) and     provide information on special enrollment rights.

COBRA Notice Requirements
Federal COBRA generally requires group health plans sponsored by employers     with 20 or more employees in the prior year to     offer employees, spouses, and dependents a temporary extension of health     coverage when group coverage would otherwise end due to certain qualifying events.

Plan administrators are required to distribute a number of specific notices     to comply with COBRA, including:

  • A general notice describing COBRA rights,          to be provided to an employee and his or her spouse who become covered          under the plan within 90 days after the date group health plan          coverage begins; and
  • An election notice informing eligible          employees, spouses, and dependents of the right to continue coverage          and how to elect COBRA, to be provided within 14 days after          receiving notice of a qualifying event.

                                                                         Required   CHIP Notice
Employers that provide coverage in states with premium assistance through   Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) must inform   employees of potential opportunities for assistance in obtaining health   coverage annually before the start of each plan year. The notice   may generally be provided concurrent with the furnishing of:

  • Materials notifying employees of health plan        eligibility;
  • Materials given to employees in connection with        an open season or election process conducted under the plan; or
  • The summary plan description (SPD).

For information on other federal   notice requirements, and to download additional model notices available for   employers and group health plans, check out our Benefits Notices Calendar.

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