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Notice

Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

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ACTION:

Submission for OMB Review; Comment request.

SUMMARY:

The Department of Labor (DOL) hereby announces the submission of the following public information collection request (ICR) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-13, 44 U.S.C. chapter 35). A copy of this ICR, with applicable supporting documentation; including, among other things, a description of the likely respondents, proposed frequency of response, and estimated total burden may be obtained from the RegInfo.gov Web site at http://www.reginfo.gov/​public/​do/​PRAMain or by contacting Linda Watts Thomas on 202-693-4223 (this is not a toll-free number) and e-mail mail to: DOL_PRA_PUBLIC@dol.gov.

Interested parties are encouraged to send written comments to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Attn: OMB Desk Officer for the Department of Labor—Employee Benefits Security Administration, Room 10235, Washington, DC 20503, Telephone: 202-395-4816/Fax 202-395-5806 (these are not toll-free numbers), E-mail: OIRA_submission@omb.eop.gov within 30 days from the date of this publication in the Federal Register. In order to ensure the appropriate consideration, comments should reference the applicable OMB Control Number (see below).

The OMB is particularly interested in comments which:

(1) Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;Start Printed Page 44991

(2) Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

(3) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

(4) 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., permitting electronic submission of responses.

Agency: Employee Benefits Security Administration.

Type of Review: Revision of a currently approved collection.

Title of Collection: COBRA Notification Requirements—American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 as amended.

OMB Control Number: 1210-0123.

Frequency: Mandatory.

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

Cost to Federal Government: $0.

Total Respondents: 649,000.

Total Number of Responses: 15,662,333.

Total Burden Hours: 503,815.

Total Hour Burden Cost (operating/maintaining): $20,717,778.

Description: The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA) provides that under certain circumstances participants and beneficiaries of group health plans that satisfy the definition of “qualified beneficiaries” under COBRA may elect to continue group health coverage temporarily following events known as “qualifying events” that would otherwise result in loss of coverage. COBRA provides that the Secretary of Labor (the Secretary) has the authority under section 608 of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) to carry out the provisions of Part 6 of title I of ERISA. The Conference Report that accompanied COBRA authorized the Secretary to issue regulations implementing the notice and disclosure requirements of COBRA.

Under the regulatory guidelines, plan administrators are required to distribute notices as follows: a general notice to be distributed to all participants in group health plans subject to COBRA; an employer notice that must be completed by the employer upon the occurrence of a qualifying event; a notice and election form to be sent to a participant upon the occurrence of a qualifying event that might cause the participant to lose group health coverage; an employee notice that may be completed by a qualified beneficiary upon the occurrence of certain qualifying events such as divorce or disability; and, two other notices, one of early termination and the other a notice of unavailability. Also included in the ICR are two model notices that the Department believes will help reduce costs for service providers in preparing and delivering notices to comply with the regulations. For additional information, see related notice published in the Federal Register on April 2, 2010 (Vol. 75 page 16841).

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Dated: July 26, 2010.

Linda Watts Thomas,

Acting Departmental Clearance Officer.

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[FR Doc. 2010-18702 Filed 7-29-10; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4510-29-P