Employee Benefits-EBSA Postpones The Effective Date For The Rules Requiring Health Plans To Provide A Summary Of Benefits and Coverage

The Employee Benefits Security Administration (the “EBSA”) has issued FAQs, which announce that the effective date for the rules requiring group health plans to furnish the Summary of Benefits and Coverage (the “SBC”) and the related Uniform Glossary (the “Glossary”) has been postponed. The effective date had been March 23, 2012.

According to the FAQs, on August 22, 2011, the government had issued proposed regulations and proposed templates in connection with implementation of the SBC and Glossary requirements of PHS Act ยง 2715(introduced by the recent health care legislation). Rather than requiring group health plan sponsors to comply with the proposed rules, and then make changes when the final rules are issued, the EBSA says that, until final regulations are issued and effective, plans and issuers are not required to comply with the SBC and Glossary requirements of PHS Act section 2715. The EBSA anticipates that the final regulations, once issued, will include an effective date that gives group health care plans sufficient time to comply.