New Regulations Proposed for Summary of Benefits Coverage
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At the end of 2014, the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor and the Treasury (Departments) released proposed regulations regarding the summary of benefits and coverage (SBC). The regulations would amend the final SBC regulations from Feb. 14, 2012. Make sure to follow these modifications closely for your real estate employees.
In addition to the proposed amendments were a proposed SBC template, instructions, uniform glossary and other materials. According to the Departments, these changes are designed to improve consumers’ access to important health plan information, as well as to provide clarifications that will make it easier for group health plans and health insurance issuers to comply with the SBC requirement.
What the Proposed Modifications Would Do
- Clarify when and how a plan or issuer must provide an SBC
- Streamline and shorten the SBC template
- Add certain elements to the SBC template that the Departments believe will be useful to consumers
The new template, instructions and supplementary materials are available on the DOL’s website under the heading “Templates, Instructions, and Related Materials – Proposed (SBCs On or After 9/15/15).” In addition, the proposed regulations would make some of the SBC enforcement safe harbors and transitions permanent, with several alterations.
If the proposed regulations are finalized, the Departments expect the new requirements for the SBC and uniform glossary would apply to coverage that begins on or after Sept. 1, 2015. In the meantime, contact your broker with any questions regarding these proposed changes and how they’ll affect your employee benefits plans.
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