Publication of Model Notices for Health Care Continuation Coverage Provided Pursuant to the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) and Other Health Care Continuation Coverage, as Required by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), as Further Amended by the Temporary Extension Act (TEA) of 2010, Notice, 13595-13597 [2010-6174]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 54 / Monday, March 22, 2010 / Notices 13595 LABOR SURPLUS AREAS—OCTOBER 1, 2009 THROUGH SEPTEMBER 30, 2010—Continued Eligible labor surplus areas Civil jurisdictions included Janesville city, WI .............................................................................................................. Menominee County, WI ..................................................................................................... Milwaukee city, WI ............................................................................................................. Racine city, WI ................................................................................................................... Rusk County, WI ................................................................................................................ Sawyer County, WI ............................................................................................................ Washburn County, WI ....................................................................................................... [FR Doc. 2010–6207 Filed 3–19–10; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Employment and Training Administration Workforce Investment Act; Native American Employment and Training Council AGENCY: Employment and Training Administration, U. S. Department of Labor. ACTION: Notice of meeting. SUMMARY: Pursuant to Section 10(a)(2) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) (Pub. L. 92–463), as amended, and Section 166(h)(4) of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) [29 U.S.C. 2911(h)(4)], notice is hereby given of the next meeting of the Native American Employment and Training Council (Council), as constituted under WIA. DATES: The meeting will begin at 10:30 a.m. (Central Time) on Thursday, April 29, 2010, and continue until 4:30 p.m. that day. The meeting will reconvene at 9 a.m. on Friday, April 30, 2010, and adjourn at 12 p.m. that day. The period from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on April 29, 2010, will be reserved for participation and presentations by members of the public. The meetings will be held at the Albuquerque Marriot Uptown, 2101 Louisiana Boulevard, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87110. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The meeting will be open to the public. Members of the public not present may submit a written statement on or before April 22, 2010, to be included in the record of the meeting. Statements are to be submitted to Mrs. Evangeline M. Campbell, Designated Federal Official (DFO), U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Room S– 4209, Washington, DC 20210. Persons who need special accommodations should contact Mr. Craig Lewis at (202) 693–3384, at least two business days before the meeting. The formal agenda pwalker on DSK8KYBLC1PROD with NOTICES ADDRESSES: VerDate Nov<24>2008 16:41 Mar 19, 2010 Jkt 220001 Rock County, WI. Menominee County, WI. Milwaukee County, WI. Racine County, WI. Rusk County, WI. Sawyer County, WI. Washburn County, WI. will focus on the following topics: (1) U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), Employment and Training Program Year 2010—Program Year 2011 Strategic Planning; (2) Reauthorization of WIA; (3) Program Year 2010–2011 Training and Technical Assistance Guidance Letter; (4) Training and Technical Assistance; (5) 2010 Census; (6) Council Update; (7) Council Workgroup Reports; and (8) Council Recommendations. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mrs. Campbell, DFO, Indian and Native American Program, Employment and Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, Room S–4209, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210. Telephone number (202) 693–3737 (VOICE) (this is not a toll-free number). Signed at Washington, DC, this 17th day of March 2010. Jane Oates, Assistant Secretary, Employment and Training Administration. [FR Doc. 2010–6208 Filed 3–19–10; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510–FR–P DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Employee Benefits Security Administration Publication of Model Notices for Health Care Continuation Coverage Provided Pursuant to the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) and Other Health Care Continuation Coverage, as Required by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), as Further Amended by the Temporary Extension Act (TEA) of 2010, Notice AGENCY: Employee Benefits Security Administration, Department of Labor. ACTION: Notice of the availability of the Model Health Care Continuation Coverage Notices required by ARRA, as further amended by TEA. SUMMARY: On March 2, 2010, President Obama signed the Temporary Extension Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111–144), which extended, for a second time, and PO 00000 Frm 00113 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 expanded the availability of the health care continuation coverage premium reduction provided for COBRA and other health care continuation coverage as required by ARRA (Pub. L. 111–5). ARRA, as amended, retained the requirement that the Secretary of Labor (the Secretary), in consultation with the Secretaries of the Treasury and Health and Human Services, develop model notices. These models are for use by group health plans and other entities that, pursuant to ARRA, as amended, must provide notices of the availability of premium reductions and additional election periods for health care continuation coverage. This document announces the availability of the model health care continuation coverage notices required by ARRA, as further amended by TEA. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kevin Horahan or Mark Connor, Office of Health Plan Standards and Compliance Assistance, Employee Benefits Security Administration, (202) 693–8335. This is not a toll-free number. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA) created the health care continuation coverage provisions of Title I of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), the Internal Revenue Code (Code), and the Public Health Service Act (PHS Act). These provisions are commonly referred to as the ‘‘COBRA continuation provisions,’’ and the continuation coverage that they mandate is commonly referred to as ‘‘COBRA continuation coverage.’’ Group health plans subject to the Federal COBRA continuation provisions are subject to ARRA’s premium reduction provisions and notice requirements. The Federal COBRA continuation coverage provisions do not apply to group health plans sponsored by employers with fewer than 20 employees. Many States require health insurance issuers that provide group health insurance coverage to plans not subject to the COBRA continuation provisions to provide comparable continuation E:\FR\FM\22MRN1.SGM 22MRN1 13596 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 54 / Monday, March 22, 2010 / Notices • COBRA election forms and information, as appropriate. coverage. Such continuation coverage provided pursuant to State law is also subject to ARRA’s premium reduction provisions and notice requirements. II. Description of the Model Notices a. In General pwalker on DSK8KYBLC1PROD with NOTICES ARRA, as further amended, mandates the provision of certain notices. Each of these notices must include: A prominent description of the availability of the premium reduction, including any conditions on the entitlement; a model form to request treatment as an ‘‘Assistance Eligible Individual’’; 1 the name, address, and telephone number of the plan administrator (and any other person with information about the premium reduction); a description of the obligation of individuals paying reduced premiums who become eligible for other coverage to notify the plan; and (if applicable) a description of the opportunity to switch coverage options. The Department of Labor (the Department) created these model notices to cover an array of situations in order to deal with the complexity of the various scenarios facing dislocated workers and their families. In an effort to ensure that the notices include all of the information required under ARRA, as amended, while minimizing the burden imposed on group health plans and issuers, the Department has created several packages. As with those models previously developed by the Department, each of the new packages is designed for a particular group of qualified beneficiaries, and contains all of the information needed to satisfy the content requirements for ARRA’s new and amended notice provisions. The packages include the following disclosures: • A summary of ARRA’s premium reduction provisions. • A form to request the premium reduction. • A form for plans (or issuers) that permit qualified beneficiaries to switch coverage options to use to satisfy ARRA’s requirement to give notice of this option. • A form for an individual to use to satisfy ARRA’s requirement to notify the plan (or issuer) that the individual is eligible for other group health plan coverage or Medicare. 1 In general, an ‘‘Assistance Eligible Individual’’ is an individual who has experienced an involuntary termination of employment that is a COBRA ‘‘qualifying event’’ at any time from September 1, 2008 through March 31, 2010 if he or she elects such COBRA coverage. For purposes of ARRA, certain involuntary terminations are considered qualifying events despite the occurrence of a previous qualifying event. VerDate Nov<24>2008 16:41 Mar 19, 2010 Jkt 220001 b. General Notice Plans that are subject to the COBRA continuation provisions under Federal law are required to send the General Notice.2 It must include the information described above and be provided to all qualified beneficiaries, not just covered employees, who experience a qualifying event through March 31, 2010.3 The Department has modified the previously updated version of this model notice so that it includes all of the information related to the premium reduction and other rights and obligations under ARRA, as further amended by TEA. This model also includes all of the information required in an election notice required pursuant to the Department’s final COBRA notice regulations under 29 CFR 2590.606– 4(b).4 Using this model to provide notice to individuals who have experienced any qualifying event from September 1, 2008 through March 31, 2010 will satisfy the Department’s existing requirements for the content of the COBRA election notice as well as those imposed by ARRA, as amended. c. Alternative Notice Issuers that offer group health insurance coverage that is subject to comparable continuation coverage requirements imposed by State law must provide the Alternative Notice. The Alternative Notice must include the information described above and be provided to ALL qualified beneficiaries, not just covered employees, who have experienced a qualifying event through March 31, 2010.5 The Department has 2 Under ARRA, as amended, the Secretary generally is responsible for developing all of the model notices with the exception of model notices relating to Temporary Continuation Coverage under 5 U.S.C. 8905a, which is the responsibility of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). In developing the original ARRA model notices, the Department was required to, and did, consult with the Departments of the Treasury and Health and Human Services, OPM, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, and plan administrators and other entities responsible for providing COBRA continuation coverage. This set of models was again created in consultation with staff at the Departments of the Treasury and Health and Human Services. 3 This notice need not be provided to the extent that a notice including accurate information regarding rights under ARRA has already been provided. 4 The 60-day period for electing COBRA continuation coverage is measured from when a complete notice is provided. ARRA provides that COBRA election notices provided for qualifying events occurring during the effective dates of the premium reduction period are not complete if they fail to include information on the availability of the premium reduction. 5 See note 3 above. PO 00000 Frm 00114 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 modified the previously updated version of this model notice. However, because continuation coverage requirements vary among States, it should be further modified to reflect the requirements of the applicable State law. Issuers of group health insurance coverage subject to this notice requirement should feel free to use the model Alternative Notice, the model Notice of New Election Period, the model Supplemental Information Notice, the model Notice of Extended Election Period, or the model General Notice (as appropriate). d. Notice of New Election Period The Notice of New Election Period is required to be sent by plans that are subject to COBRA continuation provisions under Federal or State law. It must include the information described above and should be provided to all individuals who: • Experienced a qualifying event that was a reduction in hours at any time from September 1, 2008 through March 31, 2010; • Experienced a termination of employment at any point from March 2, 2010 through March 31, 2010; AND • Either did not elect COBRA continuation coverage when it was first offered OR who elected but subsequently discontinued COBRA. Individuals who experience an involuntary termination of employment after experiencing a qualifying event that consists of a reduction of hours MUST be provided this notice within 60 days of the termination of employment. The Department has created a model Notice of New Election Period. Using this model to provide notice to these individuals satisfies the requirements of ARRA, as amended by TEA. e. Supplemental Information Notice The Supplemental Information Notice is required to be sent by plans that are subject to COBRA continuation provisions under Federal or State law. It must include the information described above and should be provided to all individuals who elected and maintained COBRA continuation coverage based on the following qualifying events: • Terminations of employment that occurred at some time on or after March 1, 2010 for which notice of the availability of the premium reduction available under ARRA was not given; or • Reductions of hours that occurred during the period from September 1, 2008 through March 31, 2010 which were followed by a termination of the employee’s employment that occurred on or after March 2, 2010 and by March 31, 2010. E:\FR\FM\22MRN1.SGM 22MRN1 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 54 / Monday, March 22, 2010 / Notices Individuals who experience an involuntary termination of employment after experiencing a qualifying event that consists of a reduction of hours MUST be provided this notice within 60 days of the termination of employment. Individuals with qualifying events that occurred at some time on or after March 1, 2010 for which notice of the availability of the premium reduction available under ARRA was not given MUST be provided this notice before the end of the required time period for providing a COBRA election notice.6 The Department has created a model Supplemental Information Notice. Using this model to provide notice to these individuals satisfies the requirements of ARRA, as amended by TEA. f. Notice of Extended Election Period The Notice of Extended Election Period is required to be sent by plans that are subject to COBRA continuation provisions under Federal or State law. It must include the information described above and be provided to ALL individuals who experienced a qualifying event that was a termination of employment at some time on or after March 1, 2010, were provided notice that did not inform them of their rights under ARRA, as amended by TEA, and either chose not to elect COBRA continuation coverage at that time OR elected COBRA but subsequently discontinued that coverage. This notice MUST be provided before the end of the required time period for providing a COBRA election notice.7 The Department has created a model Notice of Extended Election Period. Using this model to provide notice to these individuals satisfies the requirements of ARRA, as amended by TEA. pwalker on DSK8KYBLC1PROD with NOTICES III. For Additional Information For additional information about ARRA’s COBRA premium reduction provisions as amended by TEA, contact the Department’s Employee Benefits Security Administration’s Benefits Advisors at 1–866–444–3272. In addition, the Employee Benefits Security Administration has developed a dedicated COBRA Web page http:// www.dol.gov/COBRA that will contain information on the program as it is developed. Subscribe to this page to get up-to-date fact sheets, FAQs, model notices, and applications. 6 ARRA section 3001(a)(7) provides that COBRA election notices provided for qualifying events occurring during the effective dates of the premium reduction program are not complete if they fail to include information on the availability of the premium reduction. 7 See note 6 above. VerDate Nov<24>2008 16:41 Mar 19, 2010 Jkt 220001 IV. Paperwork Reduction Act Statement According to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104–13) (PRA), no persons are required to respond to a collection of information unless such collection displays a valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number. The Department notes that a Federal agency cannot conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it is approved by OMB under the PRA, and displays a currently valid OMB control number; further, the public is not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. See 44 U.S.C. 3507. Also, notwithstanding any other provisions of law, no person shall be subject to penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information if the collection of information does not display a currently valid OMB control number. See 44 U.S.C. 3512. OMB has approved the Department’s no-material, non-substantive change request for the updated notices under OMB Control Number 1210–0123. The public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average approximately 3 minutes per respondent, including time for gathering and maintaining the data needed to complete the required disclosure. There is also an additional $0.44 average cost per response for mailing costs. Interested parties are encouraged to send comments regarding the burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden, to the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of the Chief Information Officer, Attention: Departmental Clearance Officer, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Room N– 1301, Washington, DC 20210 or e-mail DOL_PRA_PUBLIC@dol.gov and reference the OMB Control Number 1210–0123. V. Models The Department has decided to make the model notices available in modifiable, electronic form on its Web site: http://www.dol.gov/COBRA. VI. Statutory Authority Authority: 29 U.S.C. 1027, 1059, 1135, 1161–1169; Sec. 3001, Pub. L. 111–5, 123 Stat. 115; Sec. 1010, Pub. L. 111–118, 123 Stat. 3409; Sec. 3, Pub. L. 111–144, 124 Stat. 42; and Secretary of Labor’s Order 6–2009, 74 FR 21524 (May 7, 2009). PO 00000 Frm 00115 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 9990 13597 Signed at Washington, DC this 15th day of March 2010. Phyllis C. Borzi, Assistant Secretary, Employee Benefits Security Administration. [FR Doc. 2010–6174 Filed 3–19–10; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510–29–P NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION [Notice (10–031)] NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Astrophysics Subcommittee; Meeting AGENCY: National Aeronautics and Space Administration. ACTION: Notice of meeting. SUMMARY: The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announces a meeting of the Astrophysics Subcommittee of the NASA Advisory Council (NAC). This Subcommittee reports to the Science Committee of the NAC. The Meeting will be held for the purpose of soliciting from the scientific community and other persons scientific and technical information relevant to program planning. DATES: Monday, April 12, 2010, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., EDT. ADDRESSES: This meeting will take place telephonically and by WebEx. Any interested person may call the USA toll free conference call number (800) 779– 1627, pass code APS, to participate in this meeting by telephone. International callers may contact Ms. Marian Norris for country-specific conference call numbers. For WebEx information, please contact Ms. Marian Norris. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Marian Norris, Science Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC 20546, (202) 358–4452, fax (202) 358–4118, or mnorris@nasa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The agenda for the meeting includes the following topics: —Astrophysics Division Update. —Kepler Data Release Policy. It is imperative that the meeting be held on this date to accommodate the scheduling priorities of the key participants. Dated: March 16, 2010. P. Diane Rausch, Advisory Committee Management Officer, National Aeronautics and Space Administration and Space Administration. [FR Doc. 2010–6291 Filed 3–19–10; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7510–13–P E:\FR\FM\22MRN1.SGM 22MRN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 54 (Monday, March 22, 2010)]
[Notices]
[Pages 13595-13597]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-6174]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Employee Benefits Security Administration


Publication of Model Notices for Health Care Continuation 
Coverage Provided Pursuant to the Consolidated Omnibus Budget 
Reconciliation Act (COBRA) and Other Health Care Continuation Coverage, 
as Required by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 
(ARRA), as Further Amended by the Temporary Extension Act (TEA) of 
2010, Notice

AGENCY: Employee Benefits Security Administration, Department of Labor.

ACTION: Notice of the availability of the Model Health Care 
Continuation Coverage Notices required by ARRA, as further amended by 
TEA.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: On March 2, 2010, President Obama signed the Temporary 
Extension Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111-144), which extended, for a second 
time, and expanded the availability of the health care continuation 
coverage premium reduction provided for COBRA and other health care 
continuation coverage as required by ARRA (Pub. L. 111-5). ARRA, as 
amended, retained the requirement that the Secretary of Labor (the 
Secretary), in consultation with the Secretaries of the Treasury and 
Health and Human Services, develop model notices. These models are for 
use by group health plans and other entities that, pursuant to ARRA, as 
amended, must provide notices of the availability of premium reductions 
and additional election periods for health care continuation coverage. 
This document announces the availability of the model health care 
continuation coverage notices required by ARRA, as further amended by 
TEA.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kevin Horahan or Mark Connor, Office 
of Health Plan Standards and Compliance Assistance, Employee Benefits 
Security Administration, (202) 693-8335. This is not a toll-free 
number.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

    The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA) 
created the health care continuation coverage provisions of Title I of 
the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), the 
Internal Revenue Code (Code), and the Public Health Service Act (PHS 
Act). These provisions are commonly referred to as the ``COBRA 
continuation provisions,'' and the continuation coverage that they 
mandate is commonly referred to as ``COBRA continuation coverage.'' 
Group health plans subject to the Federal COBRA continuation provisions 
are subject to ARRA's premium reduction provisions and notice 
requirements. The Federal COBRA continuation coverage provisions do not 
apply to group health plans sponsored by employers with fewer than 20 
employees. Many States require health insurance issuers that provide 
group health insurance coverage to plans not subject to the COBRA 
continuation provisions to provide comparable continuation

[[Page 13596]]

coverage. Such continuation coverage provided pursuant to State law is 
also subject to ARRA's premium reduction provisions and notice 
requirements.

 II. Description of the Model Notices

a. In General

    ARRA, as further amended, mandates the provision of certain 
notices. Each of these notices must include: A prominent description of 
the availability of the premium reduction, including any conditions on 
the entitlement; a model form to request treatment as an ``Assistance 
Eligible Individual''; \1\ the name, address, and telephone number of 
the plan administrator (and any other person with information about the 
premium reduction); a description of the obligation of individuals 
paying reduced premiums who become eligible for other coverage to 
notify the plan; and (if applicable) a description of the opportunity 
to switch coverage options.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ In general, an ``Assistance Eligible Individual'' is an 
individual who has experienced an involuntary termination of 
employment that is a COBRA ``qualifying event'' at any time from 
September 1, 2008 through March 31, 2010 if he or she elects such 
COBRA coverage. For purposes of ARRA, certain involuntary 
terminations are considered qualifying events despite the occurrence 
of a previous qualifying event.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Department of Labor (the Department) created these model 
notices to cover an array of situations in order to deal with the 
complexity of the various scenarios facing dislocated workers and their 
families. In an effort to ensure that the notices include all of the 
information required under ARRA, as amended, while minimizing the 
burden imposed on group health plans and issuers, the Department has 
created several packages. As with those models previously developed by 
the Department, each of the new packages is designed for a particular 
group of qualified beneficiaries, and contains all of the information 
needed to satisfy the content requirements for ARRA's new and amended 
notice provisions. The packages include the following disclosures:
     A summary of ARRA's premium reduction provisions.
     A form to request the premium reduction.
     A form for plans (or issuers) that permit qualified 
beneficiaries to switch coverage options to use to satisfy ARRA's 
requirement to give notice of this option.
     A form for an individual to use to satisfy ARRA's 
requirement to notify the plan (or issuer) that the individual is 
eligible for other group health plan coverage or Medicare.
     COBRA election forms and information, as appropriate.

 b. General Notice

    Plans that are subject to the COBRA continuation provisions under 
Federal law are required to send the General Notice.\2\ It must include 
the information described above and be provided to all qualified 
beneficiaries, not just covered employees, who experience a qualifying 
event through March 31, 2010.\3\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ Under ARRA, as amended, the Secretary generally is 
responsible for developing all of the model notices with the 
exception of model notices relating to Temporary Continuation 
Coverage under 5 U.S.C. 8905a, which is the responsibility of the 
Office of Personnel Management (OPM). In developing the original 
ARRA model notices, the Department was required to, and did, consult 
with the Departments of the Treasury and Health and Human Services, 
OPM, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, and plan 
administrators and other entities responsible for providing COBRA 
continuation coverage. This set of models was again created in 
consultation with staff at the Departments of the Treasury and 
Health and Human Services.
    \3\ This notice need not be provided to the extent that a notice 
including accurate information regarding rights under ARRA has 
already been provided.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Department has modified the previously updated version of this 
model notice so that it includes all of the information related to the 
premium reduction and other rights and obligations under ARRA, as 
further amended by TEA. This model also includes all of the information 
required in an election notice required pursuant to the Department's 
final COBRA notice regulations under 29 CFR 2590.606-4(b).\4\ Using 
this model to provide notice to individuals who have experienced any 
qualifying event from September 1, 2008 through March 31, 2010 will 
satisfy the Department's existing requirements for the content of the 
COBRA election notice as well as those imposed by ARRA, as amended.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \4\ The 60-day period for electing COBRA continuation coverage 
is measured from when a complete notice is provided. ARRA provides 
that COBRA election notices provided for qualifying events occurring 
during the effective dates of the premium reduction period are not 
complete if they fail to include information on the availability of 
the premium reduction.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

 c. Alternative Notice

    Issuers that offer group health insurance coverage that is subject 
to comparable continuation coverage requirements imposed by State law 
must provide the Alternative Notice. The Alternative Notice must 
include the information described above and be provided to ALL 
qualified beneficiaries, not just covered employees, who have 
experienced a qualifying event through March 31, 2010.\5\ The 
Department has modified the previously updated version of this model 
notice. However, because continuation coverage requirements vary among 
States, it should be further modified to reflect the requirements of 
the applicable State law. Issuers of group health insurance coverage 
subject to this notice requirement should feel free to use the model 
Alternative Notice, the model Notice of New Election Period, the model 
Supplemental Information Notice, the model Notice of Extended Election 
Period, or the model General Notice (as appropriate).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \5\ See note 3 above.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

 d. Notice of New Election Period

    The Notice of New Election Period is required to be sent by plans 
that are subject to COBRA continuation provisions under Federal or 
State law. It must include the information described above and should 
be provided to all individuals who:
     Experienced a qualifying event that was a reduction in 
hours at any time from September 1, 2008 through March 31, 2010;
     Experienced a termination of employment at any point from 
March 2, 2010 through March 31, 2010; AND
     Either did not elect COBRA continuation coverage when it 
was first offered OR who elected but subsequently discontinued COBRA.
    Individuals who experience an involuntary termination of employment 
after experiencing a qualifying event that consists of a reduction of 
hours MUST be provided this notice within 60 days of the termination of 
employment. The Department has created a model Notice of New Election 
Period. Using this model to provide notice to these individuals 
satisfies the requirements of ARRA, as amended by TEA.

 e. Supplemental Information Notice

    The Supplemental Information Notice is required to be sent by plans 
that are subject to COBRA continuation provisions under Federal or 
State law. It must include the information described above and should 
be provided to all individuals who elected and maintained COBRA 
continuation coverage based on the following qualifying events:
     Terminations of employment that occurred at some time on 
or after March 1, 2010 for which notice of the availability of the 
premium reduction available under ARRA was not given; or
     Reductions of hours that occurred during the period from 
September 1, 2008 through March 31, 2010 which were followed by a 
termination of the employee's employment that occurred on or after 
March 2, 2010 and by March 31, 2010.


[[Page 13597]]


Individuals who experience an involuntary termination of employment 
after experiencing a qualifying event that consists of a reduction of 
hours MUST be provided this notice within 60 days of the termination of 
employment. Individuals with qualifying events that occurred at some 
time on or after March 1, 2010 for which notice of the availability of 
the premium reduction available under ARRA was not given MUST be 
provided this notice before the end of the required time period for 
providing a COBRA election notice.\6\ The Department has created a 
model Supplemental Information Notice. Using this model to provide 
notice to these individuals satisfies the requirements of ARRA, as 
amended by TEA.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \6\ ARRA section 3001(a)(7) provides that COBRA election notices 
provided for qualifying events occurring during the effective dates 
of the premium reduction program are not complete if they fail to 
include information on the availability of the premium reduction.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

 f. Notice of Extended Election Period

    The Notice of Extended Election Period is required to be sent by 
plans that are subject to COBRA continuation provisions under Federal 
or State law. It must include the information described above and be 
provided to ALL individuals who experienced a qualifying event that was 
a termination of employment at some time on or after March 1, 2010, 
were provided notice that did not inform them of their rights under 
ARRA, as amended by TEA, and either chose not to elect COBRA 
continuation coverage at that time OR elected COBRA but subsequently 
discontinued that coverage. This notice MUST be provided before the end 
of the required time period for providing a COBRA election notice.\7\ 
The Department has created a model Notice of Extended Election Period. 
Using this model to provide notice to these individuals satisfies the 
requirements of ARRA, as amended by TEA.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \7\ See note 6 above.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

 III. For Additional Information

    For additional information about ARRA's COBRA premium reduction 
provisions as amended by TEA, contact the Department's Employee 
Benefits Security Administration's Benefits Advisors at 1-866-444-3272. 
In addition, the Employee Benefits Security Administration has 
developed a dedicated COBRA Web page http://www.dol.gov/COBRA that will 
contain information on the program as it is developed. Subscribe to 
this page to get up-to-date fact sheets, FAQs, model notices, and 
applications.

 IV. Paperwork Reduction Act Statement

    According to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-13) 
(PRA), no persons are required to respond to a collection of 
information unless such collection displays a valid Office of 
Management and Budget (OMB) control number. The Department notes that a 
Federal agency cannot conduct or sponsor a collection of information 
unless it is approved by OMB under the PRA, and displays a currently 
valid OMB control number; further, the public is not required to 
respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently 
valid OMB control number. See 44 U.S.C. 3507. Also, notwithstanding any 
other provisions of law, no person shall be subject to penalty for 
failing to comply with a collection of information if the collection of 
information does not display a currently valid OMB control number. See 
44 U.S.C. 3512.
    OMB has approved the Department's no-material, non-substantive 
change request for the updated notices under OMB Control Number 1210-
0123. The public reporting burden for this collection of information is 
estimated to average approximately 3 minutes per respondent, including 
time for gathering and maintaining the data needed to complete the 
required disclosure. There is also an additional $0.44 average cost per 
response for mailing costs. Interested parties are encouraged to send 
comments regarding the burden estimate or any other aspect of this 
collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this 
burden, to the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of the Chief 
Information Officer, Attention: Departmental Clearance Officer, 200 
Constitution Avenue, NW., Room N-1301, Washington, DC 20210 or e-mail 
DOL_PRA_PUBLIC@dol.gov and reference the OMB Control Number 1210-
0123.

 V. Models

    The Department has decided to make the model notices available in 
modifiable, electronic form on its Web site: http://www.dol.gov/COBRA.

 VI. Statutory Authority

    Authority:  29 U.S.C. 1027, 1059, 1135, 1161-1169; Sec. 3001, 
Pub. L. 111-5, 123 Stat. 115; Sec. 1010, Pub. L. 111-118, 123 Stat. 
3409; Sec. 3, Pub. L. 111-144, 124 Stat. 42; and Secretary of 
Labor's Order 6-2009, 74 FR 21524 (May 7, 2009).

    Signed at Washington, DC this 15th day of March 2010.
Phyllis C. Borzi,
Assistant Secretary, Employee Benefits Security Administration.
[FR Doc. 2010-6174 Filed 3-19-10; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4510-29-P