The fall is the time many employers with calendar year group health plans begin to prepare for open enrollment. Below is a list of required notices that employers should consider including in their enrollment materials.
- COBRA Notice. Plan administrators must provide a written initial COBRA notice to each employee and his or her spouse when group health plan coverage first commences of his or her rights under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1986 (“COBRA”). This notice must contain specific information, and the Department of Labor has issued a model notice.
- HIPAA Privacy Notice. If the group health plan is required to maintain a notice of privacy practices under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”), the notice must be distributed upon an individual’s enrollment in the plan. Notice of availability to receive another copy must be given every three years.
- Special Enrollment Rights. A group health plan must provide each employee who is eligible to enroll with a notice of his or her HIPAA special enrollment rights at or prior to the time of enrollment. Among other things, this notice must describe the recently enacted rights afforded under the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act.