• First Distribution Date of Employer CHIP Notice Imminent for Some Employers
  • May 4, 2010 | Author: Catherine M. Stowers
  • Law Firm: Krieg DeVault LLP - Indianapolis Office
  • The Department of Labor ("DOL") recently published a model notice, as required by the Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 ("CHIPRA"), for use by all employers who sponsor group health plans to assist with CHIPRA's notice obligations.  This model notice, called the "Employer CHIP Notice" (the "Notice") is intended for distribution by group health plan sponsors to all employees who reside in states with a qualifying premium assistance program as provided by CHIPRA.  The Notice provides a listing of all states currently offering a qualifying premium assistance program, as determined by the DOL, as well as contact information for the relevant agency in each state where eligibility information may be obtained.  There are currently 40 states offering qualifying premium assistance programs for which the Notice is required, including Indiana.     

    The DOL's Notice is a helpful tool to ensure CHIPRA compliance for employers with employees residing in multiple states, because it provides the required disclosures for all states with qualifying premium assistance programs.  It is important to note that employers are required to distribute the Notice to all employees, not just those employees who participate in the employer-sponsored group health plan, because the information obtained from the Notice may impact an employee's decision whether to enroll in the employer's group health plan.   

    The Employer CHIP Notice must be distributed on or before the first day of the first plan year beginning on or after February 4, 2010.  For calendar year plans, this means that the notice should be distributed on or before January 1, 2011.  However, for a plan with a plan year that begins between February 4, 2010 and April 30, 2010, the initial Notice must be distributed on or before May 1, 2010.  Employers whose group health plans have plan years that fall into this three month period should be prepared to distribute the Notice to their employees in the next two weeks.