The Department of Labor (DOL) is submitting the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) sponsored information collection request (ICR) titled, “Notice Requirements of the Health Care Continuation Coverage Provisions,” to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval for continued use, without change, in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).
Submit comments on or before October 25, 2013.
A copy of this ICR with applicable supporting documentation; including a description of the likely respondents, proposed frequency of response, and estimated total burden may be obtained free of charge from the RegInfo.gov Web site at http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=201307-1210-001 (this link will only become active on the day following publication of this notice) or by contacting Michel Smyth by telephone at 202-693-4129 (this is not a toll-free number) or sending an email to DOL_PRA_PUBLIC@dol.gov.
Submit comments about this request to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Attn: OMB Desk Officer for DOL-EBSA, Office of Management and Budget, Room 10235, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503, Fax: 202-395-6881 (this is not a toll-free number), email: OIRA_submission@omb.eop.gov. Commenters are encouraged, but not required, to send a courtesy copy of any comments to the U.S. Department of Labor-OASAM, Office of the Chief Information Officer, Attn: Information Management Program, Room N1301, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210, email: DOL_PRA_PUBLIC@dol.gov.
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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Contact Michel Smyth by telephone at 202-693-4129 (this is not a toll-free number) or by email at DOL_PRA_PUBLIC@dol.gov.
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The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA) provides that, under certain circumstances, a group health plan participant or beneficiary who meets the COBRA qualified beneficiaries definition may elect to continue group health coverage temporarily following a qualifying event that would otherwise result in loss of coverage. The COBRA provides that the Secretary of Labor has the authority under Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) section 608 to carry out the provisions of ERISA Title I Part 6.
The DOL issued regulations to implement the ERISA section 606 notice requirements, because providing timely and adequate notifications regarding COBRA rights and responsibilities is critical to a qualified beneficiary's ability to obtain health continuation coverage. In addition, the DOL believes, regulatory guidance was necessary to establish clearer standards for administering and processing COBRA notices.
This information collection is subject to the PRA. A Federal agency generally cannot conduct or sponsor a collection of information, and the public is generally not required to respond to an information collection, unless it is approved by the OMB under the PRA and displays a currently valid OMB Control Number. In addition, notwithstanding any other provisions of law, no person shall generally be subject to penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information that does not display a valid Control Number. See 5 CFR 1320.5(a) and 1320.6.
The DOL obtains OMB approval for this information collection under Control Number 1210-0123. OMB authorization for an ICR cannot be for more than three (3) years without renewal, and the current approval is scheduled to expire on September 30, Start Printed Page 590662013. The DOL seeks to extend PRA authorization for this information collection for three (3) more years, without any change to existing requirements. It should be noted that existing information collection requirements submitted to the OMB receive a month-to-month extension while they undergo review. For additional substantive information about this ICR, see the related notice published in the Federal Register on May 22, 2013 (78 FR 30333).
Interested parties are encouraged to send comments to the OMB, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the address shown in the ADDRESSES section within 30 days of publication of this notice in the Federal Register. In order to help ensure appropriate consideration, comments should mention OMB Control Number 1210-0123. The OMB is particularly interested in comments that:
- 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;
- 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;
- 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., permitting electronic submission of responses.
Title of Collection: Notice Requirements of the Health Care Continuation Coverage Provisions.
OMB Control Number: 1210-0123.
Affected Public: Private Sector—businesses or other for-profits.
Total Estimated Number of Respondents: 599,000.
Total Estimated Number of Responses: 20,712,556.
Total Estimated Annual Burden Hours: 0.
Total Estimated Annual Other Costs Burden: $26,554,404.
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Dated: September 18, 2013.
Departmental Clearance Officer.
[FR Doc. 2013-23260 Filed 9-24-13; 8:45 am]
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