The Department of Labor (DOL) has again updated the model Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) notice employers are required to provide annually to employees residing in any state, listed in the notice, in which the employer maintains a group health plan. Most employers issue the notice with other health plan-related notices, although it’s important to note that the notice must be provided to all employees in the relevant state(s) – not just those eligible for the employer’s benefits.
For employees receiving other plan-related notices, the CHIP notice may be included with those other plan-related materials, such as in the same envelope with other open enrollment materials or summary plan description. If provided in a packet with other documents, the CHIP notice must be a separate document.
The notice may be hand-delivered or delivered via first-class mail. Electronic distribution is permitted in accordance with the DOL’s comprehensive regulations for the provision of electronic notices (generally, unless the employee has routine access to the employer’s e-information system as an integral part of their duties, the employee must consent to e-distribution).
Employers who recently supplied the prior version of the CHIP notice (for example, as part of 2020 open enrollment materials, for calendar year health plans) are not required to supply the updated notice at this time, but certainly are free to do so. Employers should supply the new notice to newly hired employees and in open enrollment materials for the upcoming plan year.