group health plans, health insurance issuers, and participants and beneficiaries relating to new
requirements for hospital lengths of stay in connection with childbirth. The rules contained in this
document implement changes to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA)
and the Public Health Service Act (PHS Act) made by NMHPA, and changes to the Internal
Revenue Code of 1986 (Code) enacted as part of the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 (TRA ’97).
Interested persons are invited to submit comments on the interim rules for consideration by the
Department of the Treasury, the Department of Labor, and the Department of Health and Human
Services (Departments) in developing final rules.
DATES: Effective Date: The interim rules are effective January 1, 1999.
Applicability Dates: Group market rules. The interim rules for the group market apply to
group health plans and group health insurance issuers for plan years beginning on or after January
Individual market rules. The interim rules for the individual market apply with respect to
health insurance coverage offered, sold, issued, renewed, in effect, or operated in the individual
market on or after January 1, 1999.
Comment Date. Written comments on these interim rules are invited and must be received
by the Departments on or before January 25, 1999.
ADDRESSES: Written comments should be submitted with a signed original and three copies
(except for electronic submissions to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)) to any of the addresses
specified below. For convenience, comments may be addressed to any of the Departments,
except that comments relating primarily to the individual market regulations should be addressed
to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Any comment that is submitted to any