The Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) requires all employers to provide notices to their employees about the state health care exchanges, also called Health Insurance Marketplaces (“Marketplaces”). By October 1, 2013, employers must deliver written notices with details about health insurance marketplaces, previously called exchanges, to all employees. Effective October 1, 2013, notices must be given to new hires within 14 days of their start date. This is one of the many provisions of the Affordable Care Act that was not delayed.
Who needs to notify their employees?
All employers who employ one or more employees and are subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) must provide a new notice to employees no later than October 1, 2013 regarding the availability of health coverage under the Health Insurance Exchange, also referred to as the Health Insurance Marketplace. Employees hired after October 1, 2013 must be given the notice within 14 days after their start date.
Which employees to I need to notify?
Every employee regardless of part-time or full-time status and regardless of whether they have coverage or not; all employees must be notified.
What does the notice need to include?
The notice to employees must provide notice of the existence of the Marketplace, such as the Health Care Connector in Massachusetts, a description of the services provided by the Marketplace, and contact information for the Marketplace. Employees are also to be notified about the possibility of a premium tax credit for purchase of insurance through the Marketplace. Finally, the notice must inform employees that they may lose any employer contribution to the employer’s group health plan if they purchase insurance through the Marketplace and that such employer contribution may be excludable from income for federal income tax purposes.
The DOL has produced model notices for employers who offer health care coverage and for those who do not offer health care coverage. Employers are not required to use the model notice, as long as the required information is provided. Employers must adapt portions of the notice to meet their particular facts and circumstances, as well as providing information about the proper Marketplace.