Even though the Shared Responsibility provision in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been delayed, employers must still notify all employees about the availability of coverage options for the Exchanges, more commonly referred to as “the Marketplace.” All employers subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act must provide the notice to all employees by October 1, 2013. Even if the employer does not offer health plan coverage, they must give notice. And, all employees must receive this notice, regardless of full-time or part-time status, or company health plan coverage eligibility. After October 1st, all new hires must be notified within 14 days after date of hire.
Notice must be given in writing and should address:
- The existence of the Marketplace along with services available and Exchange contact information
- Premium tax credit or other cost sharing reduction information that the employee may be eligible to receive per plan requirements
- The possibility of the employee losing the tax-free contributions from the employer if the Marketplace is selected over the employer’s plan
The Department of Labor (DOL) has two model notices available for use. One is intended for companies that offer health coverage, and the other for those that do not. You can find the notices at http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/healthreform/. You can choose to use one of the model notices or a modified version, as long as the notice meets the applicable content requirements. Click here to read more.