Employers in Illinois should be mindful of certain new obligations arising under the Illinois Consumer Coverage Disclosure Act (“the Act”) (820 ILCS 46), which came into effect on August 27, 2021. The new Act applies to all Illinois employers that provide group health insurance coverage.
What the Consumer Coverage Disclosure Act Requires
The Act requires that Illinois employers give their employees a list comparing their company’s group health insurance coverage benefits with the individual health insurance coverage benefits mandated by the state of Illinois. Employers must provide this list to employees at the following junctures:
• whenever hiring new employees;
• annually after hiring; and
• upon request by any employee.
How to Comply with the Consumer Coverage Disclosure Act
Employers can easily comply with the Act by providing the required list to employees in person, by email, or on a website that employees can easily access.
For employers looking for a helpful starting point, the Illinois Department of Insurance has issued its own list of the individual health insurance coverage benefits mandated by the state of Illinois. That list is available for download here. Employers are encouraged to use the list as a framework with which to inform employees of the benefits the employer does or does not provide in its own group health insurance plan.
What Happens if I Don’t Comply with the Consumer Coverage Disclosure Act?
Employers are expected to maintain their own records of proof that they have provided adequate disclosure under the Act. This requirement lasts for a year after the date of the employer’s disclosure. If the Illinois Department of Labor, which is charged with enforcing the Act, notifies an employer of failure to comply with the Act, the employer will have 30 days to correct any violation. Continued violations 30 days after notice of noncompliance may result in civil penalties for the employer.
For help with your employer obligations under the Act, or help addressing a notice of violation or penalties from the Illinois Department of Labor, please contact our law office and schedule a consultation.