Annual Compliance Notice Summary

As the realm of compliance and regulations continues to get more complex each year, Smola Consulting is featuring this Benefits Bulletin that summarizes the annual employee compliance notice requirements, and the acceptable distribution method of employee notification.

The table below summarizes the five notices that must be made available to employees.

Annual Notice Frequency Distribution Method
Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA) Annual Paper or electronic
Medicare Creditable Coverage Annual (by 10/15 of each year) Paper or electronic
HIPAA Notice of Privacy Practices Upon enrollment and annually thereafter Paper or electronic
COBRA 1) New Employee Notification

2) COBRA “Participant” Notifications
1) Paper or electronic

2) Paper or electronic
(paper preferred)

Women’s Health and Cancer Rights (WHCRA) Upon enrollment and annually thereafter 1st notice – Paper or electronic
2nd notice – Must be paper

Specific requirements exist for providing notices through electronic communications. Compliance with these requirements is critical.

Conditions set forth below and in the Regulations for electronic disclosures must be satisfied. The individual who is the recipient of an electronic notice retains the right to obtain a paper copy of the notice from an employer upon request. Employers should always state on the electronic transmission that these documents are available in paper / written format, and can be requested through Human Resources. Individual employees covered by the plan who does not have access to employer intranet or e-mail must be provided the notice in paper format.

Additional information on electronic notices can be found through the Department of Labor at:
Regulation 29 CFR 2520.104b-l(c) & 2520.104b-l(c)(l)(iii)
Regulation 42 CFR 423.56(c)
Regulation 45 CFR 164.520(c)(3)

Model notices for CHIPRA, Medicare Creditable Coverage, HIPAA, COBRA and WHCRA can be found at:

Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA)
www.dol.gov/ebsa/chipmodelnotice.doc

Medicare Creditable Coverage
www.cms.gov

HIPAA Notice of Privacy Practices
http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/modelnotices.html
http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/understanding/coveredentities/notice.html
http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/understanding/summary/privacysummary.pdf

COBRA
www.dol.gov/ebsa/modelelectionnotice.doc

Women’s Health and Cancer Rights (WHCRA)
www.dol.gov/ebsa/pdf/CAGAppC.pdf (pages 141-142)

This information does not constitute legal advice. Employers should consult their own legal counsel with respect to compliance with these laws.