Department of Labor Issues ACA Compliance Checklist For Group Health Plans

April 16, 2013
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The Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration recently released a Self-Compliance Tool for group health plans. The tool is intended to address new legal obligations under the Affordable Care Act. As explained by the DOL, “Our approach to implementation is and will continue to be marked by an emphasis on assisting (rather than imposing penalties on) plans, issuers and others that are working diligently and in good faith to understand and come into compliance with the new law.” The Self-Compliance Tool provides an informal explanation of the statutes as well as the DOL’s most recent regulations and interpretations. It also includes citations to the underlying legal provisions. Topics covered in the checklist include how to determining whether a group plan may be grandfathered in under the ACA. It also addresses requirements for a non-grandfathered plan under the ACA. Of course, it is impossible for the DOL to detail all of the complexities of the law, even in a 29-page checklist. For instance, it does not discuss the safe harbor provisions for electronic delivery or the preventive care rules in any detail. The Self-Compliance Tool ,may however be a good place for group plans to start when reviewing ACA compliance.  It should not be used as a substitute for solid legal guidance. If you have any questions about the ACA group health plan regulations or would like to discuss how they may impact your operations, please contact me, Charles Yuen, or the Scarinci Hollenbeck attorney with whom you work.