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[Billing Codes: 4120-01-P; 4830-01-P; 4510-29-P] - page 7 / 83





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church plans) other than governmental plans, but they do not apply to health insurance

issuers. The NMHPA provisions in the Code do not contain the requirement that a plan

provide the special notice that is required under the NMHPA provisions in ERISA and the

PHS Act. An employer or plan that fails to comply with the NMHPA provisions in the

Code may be subject to an excise tax under section 4980D of the Code.

The NMHPA provisions in ERISA generally apply to all group health plans other than

governmental plans and church plans. These provisions also apply to health insurance

issuers that offer health insurance in connection with such group health plans. Generally,

the Secretary of Labor enforces the provisions of NMHPA in ERISA, except that no

enforcement action may be taken by the Secretary against issuers. However, individuals

may generally pursue actions against issuers under ERISA and, in some circumstances,

under State law.

The NMHPA provisions in the PHS Act generally apply to health insurance issuers and to

certain State and local governmental plans. States, in the first instance, enforce the PHS

Act with respect to issuers. Only if a State does not substantially enforce any provisions

under its insurance laws will HHS enforce the provisions, through the imposition of civil

money penalties. HHS has primary enforcement authority with respect to State and local

governmental plans.

The interim rules being issued today by the Secretaries of the Treasury, Labor, and HHS

have been developed on a coordinated basis by the Departments. In addition, these interim rules

take into account comments received by the Departments in response to the request for public

comments on NMHPA published in the Federal Register on June 26, 1997 (62 FR 34604).


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