This December, the Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration celebrated the 15th anniversary of its Health Benefits Education Campaign, and we’re keeping the party going by renewing our commitment to two of the campaign’s most important goals:
- educating workers to know their rights and responsibilities under their employer-provided health plan so they can make informed and timely decisions; and
- assisting employers, particularly small business owners, in understanding and complying with the law.
You may have heard of some of these laws, including COBRA and HIPAA, as well as the more recent Affordable Care Act and Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act. Certain life events, such marriage, the birth of a child, and losing or changing a job, can affect your health coverage.
Whether you are 21 and just starting your career, a worker nearing retirement, or somewhere in between, it is important to know how these protections apply to you so you are prepared to exercise your options. And if you are a small business owner, it is important to understand the basic responsibilities involved in operating a health plan.
Providing this education is an important part of the agency’s mission. EBSA conducts seminars, workshops, and webcasts and offers publications, checklists, videos and interactive web tools providing education on the laws that apply to group health plans. We also have benefit advisors across the country who can answer your questions. You can contact a benefits advisor online at askebsa.dol.gov or by calling 1-866-444-3272.
As we mark 15 years of health benefits education, we hope you will take advantage of our resources and help us get the word out so other workers and small business owners can make the most of their health benefit plans. Subscribe for updates at dol.gov/ebsa and follow the department on Twitter using @USDOL.
Phyllis C. Borzi is the assistant secretary of labor for the Employee Benefits Security Administration.