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Electronic Copy of Employee Life Ins. Booklet

Guest dsw713

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Insurance carriers are no longer giving each participant a paper copy of their benefit booklet. They are either posting them on their online systems or giving the plan sponsor an electronic copy. We just changed carriers and I want to post an electronic copy of the employee's life ins. booklet on our Intranet. Some employees on our shop floor don't have a computer at their work station. My fear is that even though I make it available to those w/computers, they won't review their copy of the booklet or make a copy and take it home for their records. So I guess I'm back to making a paper copy for everyone? Comments?

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You maybe correct, but it depends on your employees and their expectations. My usual suggestion is for the employer to notifiy employees of the document on the intranet and let them decide for themselves if they want a copy, some will not want to get one. In your notification you may decide "NOT" to offer a paper copy, which will cut down on the number of ee's requesting a copy just for the heck of it.

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I thought that it was a requirement of law, both ERISA and state insurance law, that employees must be provided with an Outline of Coverage and a Certificate of Coverage etc.

Which would mean that any employee who does not want to download a copy or who has no reasonable means of doing so, must be provided a hard copy.

I also wonder if your state law allows "compulsory" or "mandatory" electronic insurance document delivery.

Especially in your case where you know in advance that there are a significant number of employees who will be adversely affected.

George D. Burns

Cost Reduction Strategies

Burns and Associates, Inc

www.costreductionstrategies.com(under construction)

www.employeebenefitsstrategies.com(under construction)

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest ERISAdiagnostics

keep in mind DOL rules re electronic communication; spds must be provided; certificates of coverage/booklets provided by ins co frequently don't satisfy the technical requirement so of an spd. The DOL regs require that the spd must be distributed in a manner reasonably calculated to ensure receipt of the spd and must be sent by a method likely to result in full distribution. In the past, it was mail or distributed at work; then came technology and of course, the DOL has rules for that!

The issue that everyone is concerned with is how can you prove that your participants received the spd; it is an ERISA requirement, a fiduciary responsibility. Practically speaking, where a plan sponsor is most likely to get burnt is in law suits; you see it more on the H&W side than on the retirement side. Here’s an example http://benefitslink.com/articles/guests/washbull080616a.html

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