Following a delay in the original effective date, employers will need to comply with the new requirement to provide each employee a written notice with information about a Health Insurance Exchange (also known as a Marketplace) beginning this fall.
Employers are required to provide the written notice to each current employee not later than October 1, 2013, and to each new employee at the time of hiring beginning October 1, 2013(for 2014, a notice will be considered provided “at the time of hiring” if it is provided within 14 days of an employee’s start date). Model language that employers may use to satisfy the notice requirement is available from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL):
- Model Notice for Employers Who Offer a Health Plan to Some or All Employees
- Model Notice for Employers Who Do Not Offer a Health Plan
Employers must provide the notice to each employee (automatically and free of charge) regardless of plan enrollment status (if applicable) or of part-time or full-time status. The notice may be provided by first-class mail, or, alternatively, it may be provided electronically if certain requirements are met. Employers are not required to provide a separate notice to dependents or other individuals who are or may become eligible for coverage under the plan but who are not employees.
For More Information
Additional details regarding the Exchange Notice (also referred to as a “Notice of Coverage Options”) are explained in Technical Release 2013-02. According to the DOL, this temporary guidance will remain in effect until the issuance of regulations or other guidance. Future regulations or other guidance will provide adequate time for employers to comply with any additional or modified requirements.
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