COMPLIANCE WITH SUMMARY OF BENEFITS AND COVERAGE REQUIREMENTS DELAYED
Section 2715 of the Public Health Service Act, added by the Affordable Care Act, requires the Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor and the Treasury (the agencies) to develop standards for use by group health plans and health insurance issuers in compiling and providing a summary of benefits and coverage ("SBC") that describes the benefits and coverage under the plan. The statute generally requires that plans and insurers comply with these disclosure obligations beginning on or after March 23, 2012.
On August 22, 2011, the agencies issued proposed regulations and proposed templates that could be used to comply with the SBC requirement. An applicability date "beginning March 23, 2012" was proposed.
The Department of Labor ("DOL") has now announced a postponement of the applicability date. Specifically, the DOL has stated that until final regulations are issued and applicable, plans and issuers are not required to comply with Section 2715 of the Public Health Service Act. Further, the DOL states that the final regulations, once issued, will include an applicability date that gives group health plans and health insurance issuers sufficient time to comply.
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