Following the release of a proposed rule that would amend employer COBRA notice requirements in light of new Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) insurance exchange options, the Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) has issued new online guidance for employers. The proposed rule would require employers to notify their departing employees – who would otherwise be eligible for COBRA continuing health coverage – of their ability to instead purchase health insurance through the insurance exchanges or “marketplaces.” The EBSA’s 19th set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the ACA explains the proposed rule, as well as links to model COBRA notices. According to the FAQs, “until rulemaking is finalized and effective, DOL will consider use of the model notices available on its website, appropriately completed, to constitute compliance with the notice content requirements of COBRA.”

The FAQs also provide information on cost-sharing limitations under the ACA, coverage of preventive services, health FSA carryover and excepted benefits, and summary of benefits and coverage. In addition, FAQ number eight provides links to current ACA safe harbors that are still in effect. Additional EBSA healthcare guidance can be found here.