Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.
The Department of Labor's Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) released the Employer CHIP Model Notice on February 9, 2010. The Notice, as required under the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 (CHIPRA), is intended to assist employers with notifying employees about possible opportunities for group health plan premium assistance through Medicaid or state Children’s Health Insurance Programs (CHIP). For background on CHIPRA, review our April 2009 Benefits ASAP, Effective Date of New Special Enrollment Period Under CHIPRA Arrives.
The Employer CHIP Notice, as it has been dubbed, is intended to provide notice of the availability of premium assistance, eligibility for a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) special enrollment right, and a list of contact information for specific state Medicaid and CHIP agencies, current as of February 2010. The EBSA intends to update the Model Notice annually so as to keep the contact information accurate.
The Notice must be sent to all employees who reside in states that offer premium assistance programs through Medicaid or CHIP, regardless of their enrollment status. An employer is subject to the Notice requirement if it provides medical coverage to employees who reside in such states, notwithstanding the employer’s location or principal place of business. The Notice must be provided automatically and free of charge on an annual basis, but may be distributed with annual enrollment and new hire packages in the same manner as other annual notices (such as with the Women’s Cancer Rights Act).
Employers are required to provide notice by the later of (1) the first day of the first plan year after February 4, 2010 or (2) May 1, 2010. Thus, for plan years beginning between February 4, 2010 and April 30, 2010, the Notice deadline is May 1, 2010. For calendar year plans, the deadline is January 1, 2011. The EBSA has requested public comments on the Notice, which are due by April 5, 2010.
Steven J. Friedman and Andrea Jackson co-authored this entry.