Beginning October 1, 2013, employers must provide employees with a written notice about the private Health Insurance Marketplace (also known as the Exchange). The DOL has issued model notices and has updated its COBRA notices for employers to use to let employees know about the availability of health insurance through the Exchange.
Marketplace (Exchange) Notice and October 1, 2013 deadline for distribution.
Beginning January 1, 2014, individuals and employees of small businesses will have access to affordable coverage through the Exchange. The Exchange offers “one-stop shopping” to find and compare private health insurance options.
The DOL has issued model notices that employers may use to notify employees of health coverage options that are available through the Exchange. Health care reform requires employers subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) to provide the notice to new hires and current employees informing them about the Exchange. An employer subject to the FLSA generally means an employer that employs one or more employees who is engaged in, or produces goods for, interstate commerce. For most companies, a test of not less than $500,000 in annual dollar volume of business also applies. The FLSA also specifically covers hospitals; institutions primarily engaged in the care of the sick, the aged, mentally ill, or disabled who reside on the premises; schools for children who are mentally or physically disabled or gifted; preschools, elementary, and secondary schools, and institutions of higher education; and federal, state, and local government agencies.
Exchange notices must be provided to current employees by October 1, 2013. All employees must receive a notice regardless of their full- or part-time status. Employers should begin preparations for drafting and distributing the required Exchange notice. Please let us know if we can be of assistance.
DOL Updates the COBRA Model Election Notice
The DOL has updated its model COBRA election notice. Most of the revisions relate to health care reform and the new coverage that will be available through the Health Insurance Marketplace beginning in 2014.
Plan sponsors, COBRA administrators, and advisors should familiarize themselves with the revised model election notice and adapt their own notices accordingly. Please contact us if you have any questions or if we can be of assistance.