Affordable Care Act Notice to EmployeesSeptember 27, 2013
Oct 1st notice to employees required by the Dept. of Labor
There are several upcoming notice requirements as a result of the Affordable Care Act that you may be unaware of. Below is an outline of the most recent information from the Department of Labor and what information you need to be sending to your employees.
Nearly all employers are required to issue a notice to employees informing them of their health insurance options for the coming year. The notices are due to the employees no later than October 1, 2013. Employers with at least one employee and gross sales over $500,000 are required to do this; however, per the Department of Labor website, there is currently no penalty for failing to do so. Regardless of there being no current penalty, you should be very alert to the changes that are frequently occurring with the roll out of the Affordable Care Act.
To make this easy for you, please find more details below about the notice requirements.
WHAT IS THE DEADLINE FOR PROVIDING THE NOTICE?
For existing employees it’s Oct. 1, 2013 and for all employees hired between Oct. 1, 2013 and Dec. 31, 2013, it’s the time of hiring. Starting Jan 1, 2014, the notice must be provided within 14 days of an employee’s start date.
HOW DOES INFORMATION NEED TO BE PROVIDED?
Employers must provide the notice in writing, “in a manner calculated to be understood by the average employee.” The notice can be provided by first-class mail or it can be provided electronically - if the electronic notice meets Department of Labor standards.
WHAT MUST EMPLOYERS INCLUDE IN THE NOTICE?
Under the law, employers must provide the following information:
- Information regarding the existence of the exchange in their state as well as contact information and description of the services provided by an exchange;
- Inform the employee that at certain income levels they may be eligible for a premium tax credit if the employee purchases a qualified health plan through the exchange; and
- Inform the employee that if they purchase a qualified health plan through the exchange, the employee may lose the employer contribution (if there is one) to any health benefits plan offered by the employer and that all or a portion of such contribution to employer coverage may be excludable from income for federal income tax purposes. This means plans bought on the exchange will not have the same tax benefits as employer-sponsored coverage. (i.e. the exchange plans are not pre-tax like many employer plans)
- A reminder that employees are not eligible for federal subsidies to buy a private plan on an exchange if their employer offers coverage that meets the law’s affordability and minimum-value standards.