We alerted employers to the new COBRA subsidy created by the Stimulus Package last week. There is yet another insurance angle employers must be aware of: the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA).
This Act extends and maintains health coverage for uninsured children, which was a hot topic during the Presidential campaign. The Act, which was signed into law on February 4, 2009, helps employees get insurance through their employers should their coverage run out by allowing employees to enroll kids even after the enrollment period is over.
The result is one more compliance issue for employers. Like the COBRA subsidy, employers need to identify eligible employees, notify them of the opportunity to enroll after enrollment periods are closed, and amend health insurance plans to allow for the extended enrollment.
The Kaiser Family Foundation has put together a fact sheet offering an overview of the CHIPRA provisions, which may be helpful. Employers, the Act takes effect April 1, 2009, so start your due diligence now.