treated as a material modification to the plan, except that the summary description of the
modification must be provided by not later than 60 days after the first day of the first plan year in
which the requirements apply. NMHPA also amended both the group and individual market
provisions of title XXVII of the PHS Act to apply the ERISA notice requirement to certain
entities not otherwise subject to ERISA.
The Department of Labor published interim regulations implementing section 711(d) of
ERISA on April 8, 1997 (62 FR 16979), issued separately from the HIPAA regulations published
on the same date.
Section 2704(d) of the PHS Act requires nonfederal governmental plans to comply with
the notice requirement contained in section 711(d) of ERISA as if that section applied to the plan.
Similarly, section 2751(b) of the PHS Act requires a health insurance issuer in the individual
market to comply with the notice requirement in section 711(d) of ERISA as if that section
applied to the issuer and as if the issuer were a group health plan.
The NMHPA interim rules published today include the notice provisions applicable under
the PHS Act. They are based on the requirements contained in the Department of Labor’s
original notice regulations, but have been adapted for two reasons. First, changes were made to
accommodate the Departments’ interpretations of NMHPA’s substantive requirements as
contained in these interim rules. A revision of the notice provisions applicable to plans subject to
ERISA recently was published in the Federal Register in order to accommodate these
interpretations. 63 FR 48372 (September 9, 1998). Second, the statute provides that covered
individuals in both the individual and group markets (in group health plans subject to either
ERISA or the PHS Act) be notified of their rights under NMHPA. While there are fundamental