The Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Labor (DOL) have joined the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in proposing regulations to fulfill the requirement of 2010's health care reform for insurers to issue full statements of benefits to all affected.

These summaries of benefits were mandated by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and must be fully implemented by the 24-month anniversary of that act, which falls on March 23, 2012. (HHS has hinted at an extension,  however.)

The statements, which will assume a mandated standard format, are referred to in full as Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC). Insurers must issue SBCs free of charge to all plan sponsors (employers) and plan participants (employees) on a yearly basis. Failure to provide the statements can result in fines of $1,000 for each SBC not issued.

Employers, be sure your employees know their rights and obligations under PPACA. Order a copy of Personnel Concepts' Health Care Reform Employee Information Poster today and display it prominently.