The COBRA Blog

HR Issues: DOL Week in Review – New SBC Template, FAQs, Calculator

Posted by Robert Meyers on Mon, May 21, 2012 @ 13:05 PM

With all of the provisions of healthcare reform legislation going into effect, you no doubt have plenty of questions you need answered so you can understand the new law and make sure you’re in compliance. One great resource for up to date information on HR issues, and answers to your most pressing questions is the Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration website. With regular updates, they can help you stay on top of the latest changes.

Last week’s updates pertain to the Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) provisions of the Affordable Care Act, and the best place to start is the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). These helpful questions and answers are prepared jointly by the Department of Labor (DOL), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Treasury Department.

Like previously issued FAQs (available at and on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services website at, these are answers to questions asked by stakeholders and are intended to give you a more thorough understanding of the new law and help you get the most benefit from it.

FAQs Part IX

If you offer a health benefits plan, one of your requirements under the Affordable Care Act is to provide all applicants, enrollees and policyholders or certificate holders with an accurate Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC). For your convenience, the Department of Labor website provides a Summary of Benefits and Coverage template for you to use in creating your own documents.

The Department recently made some minor corrections and changes to the SBC template and the sample completed SBC. Visit these links to get the most updated version of these documents.

Corrected Summary of Benefits and Coverage Template

Corrected Sample Completed SBC

The Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is another goldmine of information. They also offer a Frequently Asked Questions section to help you make sense of the new law, along with many other valuable resources on timely HR issues. Visit this link for guidance on how to use their Coverage Example Calculator.

HHS Guidance on Inputs for Coverage Example Calculator

Keeping up with the dizzying array of new compliance HR issues, regulations and guidelines associated with the new healthcare law can be daunting. But there are many sources of information you can rely on to help you sort it all out and stay up to date. Add these helpful websites to your “favorites” list for future reference. It’s a good place to start to help you navigate the stormy seas of healthcare reform.

To keep on the cutting edge of COBRA compliance and other HR issues, make sure to subscribe to our free monthly e-newsletter, COBRATalk and don’t forget to register for COBRASchool!


Tags: COBRA compliance, HR issues

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