Please advise me as to whether the new standards apply to Multiple Employer Welfare Plans. Are they required to comply by the 10/2002 deadline?
The standards apply to health plans, as defined in 45 CFR 160.103. The definition of health plan includes "an employee welfare benefit plan established or maintained for the purpose of offering or providing health benefits to the employees of two or more employers".
These kinds of plans are required to comply by October 16, 2002, unless they are small health plans, which are required to comply by October 16, 2003. Small health plans are health plans with annual receipts of $5 million or less.