Navigating all of the changes that come with the Affordable Care Act is a challenge for many employers. Jordan Blask, of associate member company Tucker Arensberg Attorneys offers this information to assist companies of the Pittsburgh Chapter NTMA that are working toward compliance:
EMPLOYERS MUST PROVIDE “MARKETPLACE” NOTICES BY OCTOBER 1ST
Healthcare reform laws require employers who are subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act (generally, those employers who employ one or more employees and who have at least $500,000 in annual business volume, hospitals, schools, and government agencies) to provide a notice to their employees informing them of the coverage options available to them through the Health Insurance Marketplace (previously known as the Exchange). This notice was originally required to be provided by March 1, 2013; however, because there was no guidance on the notice requirement, the DOL delayed the effective date. Notices must now be provided to current employees by October 1, 2013, and to new employees hired after October 1, 2013, within 14 days of their employment start date.
Notices must be provided to all employees, whether full-time or part-time, and even if they are not currently covered under the employer’s health plan. The employer is not required to send a notice to dependents or other non-employees who may be eligible for coverage under the plan. Employers who participate in a multi-employer health plan should check with the plan’s administrator to determine if the plan will be sending the notices to the employees on the employer’s behalf.
Links to the DOL’s two model notices are provided below. Employers may use one of these models, or a modified version, provided the notice meets the content requirements of the law.
- The first notice is for employers that do not offer a health plan. It can be found at http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/pdf/FLSAwithoutplans.pdf. This notice provides a brief description of the Marketplace, the circumstances under which a premium tax credit may be available, a caution that purchasing insurance through the Marketplace eliminates any employer contribution or tax benefit that comes with employer-sponsored coverage, and a link to a website with further information and a Marketplace enrollment application.
- The second notice is for employers who offer a health plan to some or all employees. It can be found at http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/pdf/FLSAwithplans.pdf. This notice includes the information described above and also provides specific information about the employer’s health plan.