The DOL has issued a second "FAQ" about implementation of health care reform. The sheet is available here. I picked out some interesting tidbits that I found interesting:
First, relating to recissions, there has been some debate about whether retroactive termination of coverage because of non-payment of COBRA premiums would be permitted. The DOL provides that "if a plan covers only active employees (subject to the COBRA continuation coverage provisions) and an employee pays no premiums for coverage after termination of employment, the Departments do not consider the retroactive elimination of coverage back to the date of termination of employment, due to delay in administrative record-keeping, to be a rescission." So it appears that COBRA remains intact.
Second, as it relates to maintaining grandfathered status, there was a concern that cost sharing changes other than the 6 identified in the interim final regulations might impact grandfathered status. The DOL clarified that "for a plan that is continuing the same policy, these six changes are the only changes that would cause a cessation of grandfather status under the interim final regulations." So there is some security that not all changes to a plan cause a loss of grandfathered status.
Finally, there is clarification that separate vision and dental plans structured as "excepted benefits" under HIPAA, they are not subject to reform. The DOL provides that if a plan provides its dental (or vision) benefits pursuant to a separate election by a participant and the plan charges even a nominal employee contribution towards the coverage, the dental (or vision) benefits would constitute excepted benefits, and the market reform provisions would not apply to that coverage.