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These benefit notices need to be given out by employers during open enrollment

There are benefit notices that need to be given by employers who sponsor group health plans. These notices are in connection with the open enrollment periods for those plans. Some of these notices, like the SBC (summary of benefits and coverage), must be given out during open enrollment.

Other notices, including the WHCRA notice required under the Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act (WHCRA), must be disseminated yearly. These annual reminders may be given at various points during the year. However, for administrative reasons, businesses frequently decide to include them in their open enrollment mailings. A health insurance issuer or third-party administrator (TPA) may include some of these notices in the summary plan description (SPD) or detailed benefits summary of the plan.

Employers should also check their open enrollment documents to ensure that the terms and cost of coverage are appropriately reflected. The SPD should be revised or a summary of material modifications (SMM) should be provided to plan participants in order to inform them of any changes to the plan’s design for 2024.

Download the Compliance Overview below. It includes a chart that summarizes the benefit notices employers should provide at open enrollment time. 

Other Links and Resources

  • Department of Labor’s (DOL) website on compliance assistance for health plans, which includes links to many model notices
  • Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) website on Medicare Part D disclosures