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News Release

Labor Department Releases New Form M-1 For Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangements

Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.

The U. S. Department of Labor’s Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration published today a new Form M-1 annual report for multiple employer welfare arrangements (MEWAs).

Secretary of Labor Alexis M. Herman said, “Unfortunately some unscrupulous operators can take advantage of small employers by taking money designed to provide health benefits to their employees and escape detection. This new tool will help us to better identify those arrangements that need scrutiny and to coordinate more effectively with the states to protect small employers and their employees who are hurt by this abuse.”

Generally MEWAs are arrangements which offer medical benefits to the employees of two or more employers, or to their beneficiaries. These arrangements may not include plans which are established or maintained under collective bargaining agreements, by a rural electric cooperative or by a rural telephone cooperative association.

In 1992, in a report entitled “States Need Labor’s Help Regulating Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangements,” the General Accounting Office recommended a MEWA reporting requirement. However, at the time, the department did not have legislative authority to implement such a requirement. Then, in 1996, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act gave the department this authority.

Under the new reporting requirement, the one-page Form M-1 is generally required to be filed once a year. The first year, the form is generally due May 1, 2000, but administrators can request an automatic, 60-day extension to July 1, 2000. The next filing would then not be due until March 1, 2001, and on every March 1 thereafter.

PWBA is committed to working together with administrators to help them comply with this filing requirement. In this regard, PWBA has created a good faith safe harbor with respect to filings due in the year 2000. Under the safe harbor PWBA will not assess penalties in cases where there has been a good faith effort to comply with the filing requirement.

To help filers, PWBA is publishing a guide for completing the Form M-1, which is available by calling the PWBA toll-free publication hotline at 1-800-998-7542 and on the Internet at Plan administrators may also contact us with any questions or for assistance in completing this report by calling (202) 219-8818.

Written comments on the Form M-1 are invited and should be submitted, on or before April 11, 2000 to the Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration, Room C-5331, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210. Attention: MEWA reporting. Written comments also may be sent by Internet to the following address: All public comments will be available for public inspection in the PWBA Public Disclosure Facility in Room N5638 at the same street address.

U.S. Department of Labor news releases are accessible on the Internet. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format upon request (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the Central Office for Assistive Services and Technology. Please specify which news release when placing your request. Call 202.693.7773 or TTY 202.693.7775.

Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.

Employee Benefits Security Administration
February 11, 2000
Release Number