Congress passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Affordable Care Act) in order to expand access to affordable healthcare. Many provisions will become effective in 2014, however, there are requirements that business owners need to act upon immediately. By October 1st, 2013, the Affordable Care Act is requiring employers to provide employees with written notices regarding the employee’s health plan coverage options that are available through the Health Insurance Marketplace, referred to as Marketplace. The notice must be provided to all employees, regardless of their benefit enrollment status or full or part-time status.

Which employers are affected? Companies/organizations covered by the FLSA, specifically those with:

 

  • One or more employees
  • Sales in excess of $500,000
  • Engaged in interstate commerce
  • Hospitals, certain healthcare institutions and school

What needs to be included in the notices?

  • Information about the availability of the Marketplace and the services offered. Open enrollment begins at the Marketplace on October 1st, 2013 and coverage is available January 1, 2014.
  • Customer assistance contact information: available at  https://www.healthcare.gov/families/
  • Information about potential premium subsidies under section 36B of the code, FLSA section 18B if an employee purchases coverage through the Marketplace
  • Specify that employees who purchase coverage through the Marketplace could lose their benefit of employer’s contribution to the plan


Do my COBRA election notices for continuation coverage also need to include specific information?

Yes, notices need to include healthcare coverage options available through the Marketplace.

 

Model notice for employers who DO NOT offer a health plan

Model notices are also available in Spanish and MS Word format at:Department of Labor Affordable Care Act


Am I required to use the model notices? Employers may use a model notice, which includes safe harbor verbiage, or a modified version. Find the COBRA Model Election Notice at Department of Labor Affordable Care Act

 

Notice delivery methods? Notices can be delivered either by mail or electronically (meeting DOL electronic disclosure safe harbor requirements at 29CFR 2520.104b-1(c)).

 


What’s required of employers in the future? In 2014, an employer will have 14 days from the employee’s start date to provide a notice.

 


Where can I find more information?

Department of Labor Affordable Care Act 

DOL Technical Release 2013-02/Guidance for Notice 2013-02

If you have any questions regarding complying with the Affordable Care Act’s Employer Notice mandate or any accounting related questions, feel free to contact Holdsworth & Co. CPAs 928-445-8633.