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Proposed Extension of Information Collection Request Submitted for Public Comment; Revisions to EBSA Form 700-Certification

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Employee Benefits Security Administration, Department of Labor.




The Department of Labor (the Department), in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA 95) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)), provides the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed and continuing collections of information. This helps the Department assess the impact of its information collection requirements and minimize the reporting burden on the public and helps the public understand the Department's information collection requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format. Currently, the Employee Benefits Security Administration is soliciting comments on a revision of the EBSA Form 700 information collection request (ICR) to reflect Supreme Court of the United States interim order in connection with an application for an injunction in the pending case of Wheaton College v. Burwell (the “Wheaton order”). A copy of the information collection request (ICR) may be obtained by contacting the office listed in the ADDRESSES section of this notice.


Written comments must be submitted to the office shown in the Addresses section on or before October 27, 2014.


Direct all written comments regarding the information collection request and burden estimates to the Office of Policy and Research, Employee Benefits Security Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Room N-5718, Washington, DC 20210. Telephone: (202) 693-8410; Fax: (202) 219-4745. These are not toll-free numbers. Comments may also be submitted electronically to the following Internet email address:

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I. Background

Elsewhere in today's issue of the Federal Register, the Departments of Labor, the Treasury, and Health and Human Services are issuing interim final regulations regarding coverage of certain preventive services under section 2713 of the Public Health Service Act (PHS Act), added by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as amended, and incorporated into the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 and the Internal Revenue Code. Section 2713 of the PHS Act requires coverage without cost sharing of certain preventive health services by non-grandfathered group health plans and health insurance coverage. Among these services are women's preventive health services, as specified in guidelines supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

As authorized by final regulations issued on July 2, 2013 (78 FR 39870), and consistent with the HRSA guidelines, group health plans established or maintained by certain religious employers (and group health insurance coverage provided in connection with such plans) are exempt from the otherwise applicable requirement to cover certain contraceptive services. Additionally, under the final regulations, group health plans established or maintained by certain nonprofit organizations that hold themselves out as religious organizations and that have religious objections to contraceptive coverage (eligible organizations) are eligible for an accommodation.

The final regulations require each organization seeking accommodation to self-certify that it meets the definition of an eligible organization. The organization must send a copy of the self-certification to an issuer or third-party administrator. The organizations seeking the accommodation must maintain the self-certification/notification in a manner consistent with the record retention requirements under section 107 of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, which generally requires records to be maintained for six years. The form that is used by eligible organizations for their self-certification is EBSA Form 700, which is an information collection request (ICR) subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act.

The interim final regulations augment the final regulations and revise the EBSA Form 700 ICR in light of the Wheaton order. Specifically, the interim final regulations continue to allow eligible organizations to notify an issuer or third party administrator using EBSA Form 700, as set forth in the July 2013 final regulations. In addition, the interim final regulations permit an alternative process, consistent with the Wheaton order, under which an eligible organization could notify the Secretary of HHS that it will not act as the plan administrator or claims administrator with respect to, or contribute to the funding of, coverage of all or a subset of contraceptive services. The notification must include information sufficient to identify the plan, plan type (including whether it is a church plan within the meaning of ERISA section 3(33)), and the identity and mailing addresses of any third party administrators.

On August 21, 2014, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approved the amendments to EBSA Form 700 required as a revision to OMB Control Number 1210-0150 under the emergency procedures for review and clearance in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-13, 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35) and 5 CFR 1320.13. OMB's approval of the revision currently is schedule to expire on February 28, 2015.

II. Current Actions

This notice requests public comment pertaining to the Department's request for extension of OMB's approval of its revision to EBSA Form 700. After considering comments received in Start Printed Page 51198response to this notice, the Department intends to submit an ICR to OMB for continuing approval. No change to the existing ICR is proposed or made at this time. The Department notes that an agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, an information collection unless it displays a valid OMB control number. A summary of the ICR and the current burden estimates follows:

Agency: Employee Benefits Security Administration, Department of Labor.

Title: EBSA Form 700—Certification.

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

OMB Number: 1210-0150.

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

Respondents: 122.

Frequency of Responses: Annual.

Responses: 122.

Estimated Total Burden Hours: 102 (51 for DOL, 51 for HHS).

Estimated Total Burden Cost (Operating and Maintenance): $66 ($33 for DOL, $33 for HHS).

III. Desired Focus of Comments

The Department of Labor (Department) 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., by permitting electronic submissions of responses.

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

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Dated: August 19, 2014.

Joseph S. Piacentini,

Director, Office of Policy and Research, Employee Benefits Security Administration.

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[FR Doc. 2014-20253 Filed 8-22-14; 3:30 pm]