Good news: The major changes the feds recently proposed to the Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) statements won’t be finalized until at least 2016.
And that means employers have a good amount of breathing room until they must comply with the wholesale changes to the SBCs.

As HR pros know, the Affordable Care Act’s Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) statements rule require all health plans (grandfathered and non-grandfathered alike) to supply plan participants with SBCs and a glossary of commonly used terms during their open enrollment period.

These SBCs were created to help simplify health info for employees, but they’ve also caused HR and Benefits pros as well as plan administrators some major headaches since the regs took effect.

So when the feds essentially proposed an overhaul to the SBCs that employers were finally getting used to, you can imagine not everybody was thrilled.

Originally slated for 2015

If you remember, the feds issued the new proposed SBC rule right at the end of 2014.

This included reg changes as well as wholesale amendments to the proposed templates of the SBCs, a revised instruction guide and a revised uniform glossary.

Originally, when the feds rolled out the proposed SBC reg, they said the changes would take effect for healthcare coverage beginning on or after September 1, 2015.

Now, according to a new FAQ on DOL’s website, the new SBC templates and documents are expected to be finalized by the Obamacare agencies in January of 2016.

The new forms will then apply to insurance coverage that renews or kicks in on or after Jan. 1, 2017.

So this is quite an extension.

You can view the DOL’s latest FAQ for more details.

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