2.11.10

On February 4, 2009, the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 (“CHIPRA”) was signed into law. In order to comply with CHIPRA, employers who offer group health plans must provide notice to their employees of their rights under CHIPRA. On February 4, 2010, the Department of Labor issued a model CHIPRA notice, which can be located on their website - http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/chipmodelnotice.doc. This notice will need to be tailored for your particular plan(s) and must be distributed by the later of the first day of the first plan year beginning after February 4, 2010 or May 1, 2010 (January 1, 2011 for calendar year plans). Additionally, you will need to review your policies and procedures to ensure that these notices are timely and properly distributed. For example, states may elect to offer premium assistance for employer-sponsored health plans. If the state chooses to offer premium assistance, the employer may elect to have the premium assistance paid directly to the employee to avoid having to deal with the individual states, or the can elect to receive the premium assistance directly from the state. Depending on your state and how you choose to handle the premium assistance (if applicable), you will need to ensure that your policies and procedures correctly reflect your choice.

Please contact Dana Thrasher (205-226-5464), Dave Pearson (813-222-1367), Bob Ellerbrock (205-226-5462), or Jay Turner (205-226-5468) for assistance with your CHIPRA notices. We are happy to walk you through these required changes and help you confirm that you are in compliance with CHIPRA’s requirements.

IRS Circular 230 Notice: Federal regulations apply to written communications (including emails) regarding federal tax matters between our firm and our clients. Pursuant to these federal regulations, we inform you that any U.S. federal tax advice in this communication (including any attachments) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by the addressee or any other person or entity for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed under the Internal Revenue Code.

Constangy, Brooks & Smith, LLP has counseled employers on labor and employment law matters, exclusively, since 1946. A “Go To” Law Firm in Corporate Counsel and Fortune Magazine, it represents Fortune 500 corporations and small companies across the country. Its attorneys are consistently rated as top lawyers in their practice areas by publications such as Chambers USA, Super Lawyers, and Top One Hundred Labor Attorneys in the United States. More than 100 lawyers partner with clients to provide cost-effective legal services and sound preventive advice to enhance the employer-employee relationship. Offices are located in Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Virginia, Massachusetts, Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin, Texas and California. For more information, visit www.constangy.com.

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