Employers Required Notice to Employees Regarding Health Insurance Coverage. Obama Care’s primary purpose was to expand access to affordable health care insurance. Central to this is the creation of new Insurance Exchanges (often referred to as the Marketplace). The Exchanges are intended to provide a competitive private health insurance market where individuals and employees of small businesses can shop for affordable coverage. The Exchanges are intended to be up and running by October 1, 2013.
Who is Required to Send the Notice
Most employers will be subject to this requirement as it applies to employers covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). In general, the FLSA applies to employers that have (1) one or more employees who are engaged in interstate commerce and (2) gross annual sales of $500,000 or more.
Which Employees Should Receive the Notice
The notice must be provided to all employees – part-time and full-time – employed now and those employed after September 30. A separate notice does not need to be provided to dependents who are or may become eligible for coverage under the plan, but who are not employees.
What Are the Contents of the Notice
The DOL has provided two Model Notices (one for employers offering insurance coverage to employees, the other for employers not offering coverage) that may be used to meet these requirements. The model notices are on the DOL website. Use this notice if you offer a health plan to some or all of your employees. Use this notice if you do not offer a health plan to your employees. Use the model notices, don’t try to get creative. They are a safe harbor.
Timing and Delivery of the Notice
The notice must be provided in writing by first-class mail or, if certain requirements are met, it can be delivered electronically. It must be provided by 10/1/13 to employees hired before that date. Employees hired after 9/30/13, must be given the notice at the time of hiring.
Please give us a call if you have any questions or need any assistance meeting this new notice requirement.