Friday, April 15, 2011

OCSE Issues New Version of National Medical Support Notice

The Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) has revised Part A of the National Medical Support Notice (NMSN). The new version of Part A is in effect through March 31, 2014. The old version of the form was in effect through March 31, 2011 [OCSE Action Transmittal AT-11-03, 3/29/11].

The National Medical Support Notice is a federal form that all state child support enforcement agencies (CSE) must use to enforce the health care coverage provisions in a child support order. The form serves as legal notice to the employer that the employee identified in the NMSN is obligated by a court or administrative child support order to provide medical coverage for the child(ren) identified in the notice. An NMSN has two parts: Part A — Notice to Withhold for Health Care Coverage, and Part B — Medical Support Notice to Plan Administrator.

Part A changes. The Employer Response Section of Part A includes several boxes that employers check, if applicable. Check box 2 has been revised to state the following: “We, the employer, do not offer our employees the option of purchasing dependent or family health care coverage as a benefit of their employment.”

Check boxes 6 and 7 have been added to the form. Employers will complete check box 6 if they cannot process an employee's enrollment for health care coverage until the employee finishes a waiting period for eligibility. Employers check box 7 to indicate when they forwarded Part B of the NMSN to the plan administrator.

Employers must forward Part A to the agency that issued the NMSN if they checked boxes 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5. If boxes 1 through 5 do not apply, employers complete box 7 and forward Part B of the NMSN to the appropriate Plan Administrator(s) within 20 business days after the date of the notice, or sooner, if reasonable.

Employers may now link to the NSMN instructions electronically. However, state agencies must continue to mail the hard copy of the instructions with each NMSN unless the employer has requested otherwise.

Employers are asked to continue to honor the previous version of the NMSN until the state agencies have had the opportunity to implement the new version of the form.

The OCSE notes that the Department of Labor (DOL) will be making conforming changes to Part B in the near future.

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