DOL Issues Model Notice for Dependents to Age 26 Provision
The Dept of Labor has issued model language for plan sponsors and insurers to use when notifying employees of the extension of dependent coverage to the age of 26. Below is the text of the notice:
The interim final regulations extending dependent coverage to age 26 provide transitional relief for a child whose coverage ended, or who was denied coverage (or was not eligible for coverage) under a group health plan or health insurance coverage because, under the terms of the plan or coverage, the availability of dependent coverage of children ended before the attainment of age 26. The regulations require a plan or issuer to give such a child an opportunity to enroll that continues for at least 30 days (including written notice of the opportunity to enroll), regardless of whether the plan or coverage offers an open enrollment period and regardless of when any open enrollment period might otherwise occur. This enrollment opportunity (including the written notice) must be provided not later than the first day of the first plan year beginning on or after September 23, 2010. The notice may be included with other enrollment materials that a plan distributes, provided the statement is prominent. Enrollment must be effective as of the first day of the first plan year beginning on or after September 23, 2010.
The following model language can be used to satisfy the notice requirement:
Individuals whose coverage ended, or who were denied coverage (or were not eligible for coverage), because the availability of dependent coverage of children ended before attainment of age 26 are eligible to enroll in [Insert name of group health plan or health insurance coverage]. Individuals may request enrollment for such children for 30 days from the date of notice. Enrollment will be effective retroactively to [insert date that is the first day of the first plan year beginning on or after September 23, 2010.] For more information contact the [insert plan administrator or issuer] at [insert contact information].