October 1 Deadline for Health Insurance Notices Approaching
Open enrollment in the Affordable Care Act’s (“ACA”) Health Insurance Marketplaces begins October 1, 2013. All employers who are subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) are required to provide notices to their current employees informing them of the Marketplaces by October 1, 2013, or within 14 days of hire for any employees hired after October 1, 2013. Notices must be sent to all part-time, seasonal, temporary or full-time employees, irrespective of whether or not they are eligible for coverage or currently receiving coverage.
The Department of Labor (“DOL”) has published Model Marketplace Notices for employers who currently offer health plans, and those that do not. Employers are not required to use the Model Notices. However, any notices sent by employers must inform employees: 1) of the existence of the Health Insurance Marketplaces, 2) of the federal premium tax credit where the employer’s share of the costs of benefits are less than 60 percent and the employee purchases a plan through the exchange, and 3) that if employees purchase a plan through the Marketplaces, the employee may lose any employer contribution to benefits offered by the employer.
Employers that currently contribute to multiemployer plans should consider also sending a copy of the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) published by the DOL for these plans and their participants, along with contact information for participants who have trouble understanding the notices.
While the notices are a requirement under the law, there is currently no fine or penalty for failing to provide the Notice.
For more information on the notices or what should be contained in the notices, please contact your Trust Fund counsel.
By Conchita Lozano-Batista | September 30, 2013