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The US DOL Updates Its CHIP Model Notice

The US DOL has released a new model Employer CHIP Notice which is current as of July 31, 2022. Employers with group health plans that cover participants in states that provide premium assistance subsidies through Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) are required to notify their employees annually, even if, the employer’s location or principal place of business is not in one of the states listed in the model notice.

The CHIP Notice may be provided with the Summary Plan Description (SPD), enrollment packets, or open season materials. Employers can provide the entire model notice to employees or may shorten the notice and provide state specific information only for those states in which employees reside. Employers could also choose to prepare their own notices, providing that it includes the minimum relevant state contact information for any employee residing in a state with premium assistance.

Employers that fail to send the required notice may be subject to penalties.

Next Steps for Employers

Employers should review the updated CHIP Notice to confirm whether they have employees in one or more of the states listed in the notice. If so, they should check with their carrier or their third-party administrator (TPA) to determine if they will notify plan participants or eligible employees before the beginning of the upcoming plan year on behalf of the employer. For employers whose carrier or TPA will not be sending the CHIP Notice, they will need to ensure that it is provided to eligible employees.

Employers should determine if they will send the CHIP Notice to all employees or only to eligible employees, and if they will send the entire CHIP Notice, or will only include information about those states in which their employees reside.

Finally, employers should ensure that the notice is sent to all (or all eligible) employees. The notice can be provided by first-class mail or electronically.

Additional information on CHIP is available by clicking here.

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