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Notice

Proposed Extension of Information Collection; Request for Public Comment Notice of Pre-Existing Condition Exclusion

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

The Department of Labor (Department), as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, conducts a preclearance consultation program to provide the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed and continuing collections of information in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)((A)). This program helps to ensure that the data the Department gathers can be provided in the desired format, that the reporting burden on the public (time and financial resources) is minimized, that the public understands the Department's collection instruments, and that the Department can accurately assess the impact of collection requirements on respondents.

Currently, the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) is soliciting comments concerning the extension of currently approved collections of information arising from the Department's regulation at 29 CFR 2590.701-3, which requires group health plans and insurance issuers to provide certain notices regarding the pre-existing condition exclusions imposed under such plans to all participants under the plan and to specific individuals affected by the pre-existing condition exclusions. A copy of the information collection request (ICR) can be obtained by contacting the office shown in the ADDRESSES section of this notice.

DATES:

Written comments must be submitted to the office shown in the ADDRESSES section of this notice on or before September 18, 2006.

ADDRESSES:

Interested parties are invited to submit written comments regarding the information collection request and burden estimates to Susan G. Lahne, Office of Policy and Research, Employee Benefits Security Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Room N-5718, Washington, DC 20210, (202) 693-8410, FAX (202) 219-4745 (these are not toll-free numbers). Comments may also be submitted electronically to the following Internet e-mail address: ebsa.opr@dol.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

Regulation section 2590.701-3 requires group health plans imposing a pre-existing condition exclusion, and health insurance issuers offering group health insurance subject to a pre-existing condition exclusion, to provide all participants under the plan a written general notice of the pre-existing condition and also to provide any affected individual a specific written notice describing the length of pre-existing condition exclusion applicable to that individual under the plan after the plan or issuer has made a determination, for that individual, of creditable coverage. EBSA previously submitted an ICR with respect to these pre-existing condition exclusion notices to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review under the PRA and received approval under OMB Control No. 1210-0102. The ICR approval is currently scheduled to expire on October 31, 2006.

II. Desired Focus of Comments

The Department is particularly interested in comments that:

  • Evaluate whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;
  • Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;
  • Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and
  • Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., by permitting electronic submission of responses.

III. Current Action

This notice requests comments on an extension of the information collections arising from the pre-existing condition exclusion notice requirements of 29 CFR 2590.701-3. The Department is not proposing or implementing any changes to the information collections at this time. A summary of the ICR and the current burden estimates follows:

Agency: Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration.

Title: Notice of Pre-Existing Condition Exclusion.

Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection of information.

OMB Number: 1210-0102.

Affected Public: Business or other for-profit; Not-for-profit institutions.

Frequency of Response: On occasion.

Respondents: 1,300,000.

Responses: 2,700,000.

Total Estimated Burden Hours: 2,289.

Total Burden Cost (Operating and Maintenance): $272,000.

Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for OMB approval of the extension of this ICR; they will also become a matter of public record.

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Dated: July 13, 2006.

Susan G. Lahne,

Office of Policy and Research, Employee Benefits Security Administration.

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[FR Doc. E6-11402 Filed 7-18-06; 8:45 am]

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