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Law Changes for COBRA and SCHIP

[1]Bullard, Smith, Jernstedt & Wilson Law Firm [2]
EAlert 2/16/09

STIMULUS BILL MANDATES COBRA CHANGES

Tomorrow President Obama is expected to sign the much-debated stimulus bill (officially the “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009”) that the House and Senate passed last week. The ARRA changes certain rules relating to continuation coverage from employer-sponsored health plans. The changes apply to public employers’ plans as well as private-sector employers’ plans, and one of the changes even applies to employers who are not subject to the federal COBRA rules.

Most employers will need to take action quickly to respond to these changes. Click the following link to read the Bullard eAlert summarizing the changes and proposing action steps for employers to take: http://www.bullardlaw.com/Resources/E-Alerts.html.

Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009:

These new rules for employer-sponsored health plans come right on the heels of the enactment of the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009. That new law, known as CHIP, may offer a premium subsidy for covering children under employers’ plans and require plans to offer special enrollment to children who either lose CHIP coverage or become eligible for a CHIP premium subsidy. Employers will be required to notify employees of these new rules, but only after the Department of Health and Human Services issues model notices.
We will try to remind you about additional developments involving both the stimulus bill and CHIP, and we hope you will feel free to contact us with any questions or comments you may have.

UPCOMING BULLARD “BOOT CAMP”:
On March 18, 2009 Bullard Law will be presenting “Boot Camp” on basic employment law issues. Attendees will have the opportunity to attend one of three sessions:

(1) Labor Law 101, presented by Barb Bloom, and covering the NLRA, protected activities, Weingarten, “just cause”, duty to bargain, union organizing activity and practical advice for managers and supervisors;
(2) Record Keeping for Employers, presented by Lisa Brown, and covering the key questions – what to keep, how long to keep it, and how to find it when you need it; and
(3) FMLA Update, presented by Kathy Hindman, and covering the new FMLA regulations and the interplay of those regulations with Oregon and Washington rules.

Boot Camp will be held at the Multnomah Athletic Club in Portland. For full details and to register please click on the Bullard Seminars/Workshops page (http://www.bullardlaw.com/Resources/SeminarsWorkshops.html) or contact Coni Crone (503.248.1134 or ccrone@bullardlaw.com). We look forward to seeing you there.

AT YOUR SERVICE:

Please feel free to contact us with questions or for more information on the stimulus bill, the CHIP, or any other labor, employment and benefits issues. You may reach us anytime at 503/248-1134 or on the web at www.bullardlaw.com. Thank you.

Bullard, Smith, Jernstedt & Wilson Law Firm [2]