DOL Increases Penalties for Health Plan Violations

On July 1, 2016, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued an interim final rule that increases the civil penalty amounts that may be imposed under various federal laws, including the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). The interim final rule increases the civil penalty amounts associated with:

Failing to file an annual Form 5500 (as applicable);
Failing to provide the annual notice regarding premium assistance under the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP); and
Failing to provide the Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC), as required by the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

The increased amounts apply to civil penalties that are assessed after Aug. 1, 2016, for violations that occurred after Nov. 2, 2015.

Employers should become familiar with the new penalty amounts and review their health plans to ensure compliance with ERISA’s requirements. For example, employers should make sure they are complying with ERISA’s reporting and disclosure rules, including the Form 5500, annual CHIP notice and SBC requirements.