Note: This article was originally published on August 19, 2021. Because of the continuing public health emergency, we have updated for timeliness and accuracy.
On October 13, 2022, the Secretary of Health and Human Services announced an extension of the COVID-19 public health emergency. This act also expanded the ICHRA notice relief for employer groups.
Employers offering an ICHRA are typically required to provide written notice to each participant at least 90 calendar days before the beginning of each plan year. Due to Covid-19 and during the national emergency the timeframe to provide the required notice has been adjusted. Under EBSA Disaster Relief Notice 2020-01, the ICHRA notice may be furnished as soon as administratively possible under the circumstances.
Employers are encouraged to make a good faith effort to provide the ICHRA notice far enough in advance so the eligible employees will have sufficient time to read and understand the notice, make an informed decision whether to enroll in the ICHRA and exercise their special enrollment right to individual health insurance coverage so that the coverage would start no later than the first day of the ICHRA plan year.
The following information should be included in the notice:
- Dollar amount of the ICHRA offer.
- Date that coverage under the HRA (Health Reimbursement Arrangement) may begin.
- Whether the offer extends to dependents.
- Contact information, including a phone number, of a resource participants may contact to receive additional information regarding the ICHRA.
- Statement of availability of a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) to enroll in or change individual health insurance coverage, for the participant and any dependents who newly gain access to the ICHRA and are not already covered by the ICHRA.
Employers offering an ICHRA may use the model notice provided by the Departments of the Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services to satisfy the notice requirement. For additional details, go to: https://www.cms.gov/files/document/hra-model-noticepdf.