|June 8, 2012|
Previously published on June 4, 2012
This Employee Benefits Update provides information on new developments affecting employer benefit plans.
The government issued guidance on the following topics:
- Affordable Care Act Summary of Benefits and Coverage (“SBC”). New guidance has been issued in the form of FAQs that address effective dates, enforcement, and many details on how to prepare and distribute these new notices. For more information, see: http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/pdf/faq-aca8.pdf and http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/pdf/faq-aca9.pdf.
- Affordable Care Act Non-English Notice. When 10% or more of the population in a county are literate only in the same non-English language, the Affordable Care Act requires accommodations. The government has issued a list of counties which meet or exceed this threshold. For more information, see: http://cciio.cms.gov/resources/factsheets/clas-data.html.
- Privacy for Non-health Plans. Although HIPAA privacy rules are highly publicized, privacy and security concerns such as identity theft and theft of accounts affect other benefit plans as well. The Department of Labor Advisory Committee has published a helpful report highlighting problem areas. For more information, see: http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/publications/2011ACreport2.html#ExecutiveSummary.
What should employers do?
- Employers should be communicating with service providers about SBC compliance. Many employers will need to ensure that the new SBCs are prepared and properly distributed as early as this fall.
- Employers with individuals not literate in English should check the 10% threshold guidance as they may need to provide additional communications under the Affordable Care Act.
- Employers should review privacy and security protections for non-health plans, including review of service provider practices and protections for participant data.