Deadlines, deadlines and deadlines

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What keeps human resource professionals up at night?

This question often is posed to human resources professionals, and – as you would expect – the answers will vary depending on the size, complexity and industry in which they work.

Typical responses will include health care reform, how to retain our best employees, how to spread a meager compensation budget across all employees or perhaps some of the pending legislation in our nation’s capital – such as the National Labor Relations Board’s modifications to the union election rules, the Paycheck Fairness Act, the Fair Minimum Wage Act, the Tax Reform Act or a host of other thoughts.

Now that we have crossed the midpoint of 2014 calendar, most HR professionals, at least those who have health care responsibility for their organizations, begin to turn their attention to plan designs and the next round of open enrollment meetings they need to prepare for regarding health care.

With the ever-changing regulatory landscape, these experts need to stay abreast of the changes to make sure they keep their companies compliant and their employees properly informed.

To that end, here is a list of many of the key documents and notices that human resources professionals need to keep in mind (listed with benefit notice and due date):

• Summary plan descriptions: Within 90 days of employee being covered.

• Summary of material modifications: Within 60 days of adoption of a material reduction in covered services.

• Summary annual report: Within nine months of the end of the plan year.

• Notice regarding availability of health insurance exchanges: Within 14 days of hire for each new employee.

• Summary of benefits and coverage: Before each enrollment and re-enrollment.

• Notice of modification: No later than 60 days before a modification is effective.

• Medicare Part D credible or noncredible coverage notice: Prior to Oct. 15 each year, prior to initial enrollment and at various other times.

• Notice of special enrollment rights: At the time an employee is initially offered the chance to enroll.

• HIPAA notice of privacy: At enrollment, within 60 days of a material revision, and every three years.

• Women’s health and cancer rights notice: At enrollment and each year.

• Medicaid and CHIP notice: Annually before the start of a plan year.

• Notice of COBRA rights: Within 90 days after coverage begins.

• COBRA election notice: Within 14 days of being notified of a qualifying event.

Abbreviations: HIPAA-Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. CHIP-Children’s Health Insurance Program. COBRA-Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act.

This list represents only a portion of the required documents and notices required to be provided to plan participants.

HR representatives should take advantage of the multiple resources at their disposal to make sure they remain compliant. These resources include their local or national Society for Human Resource Management organization and their health care broker or legal counsel.

Keeping current with these requirements will help keep minds at ease and allow for a good night’s sleep.

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