There have been many updates surrounding the Affordable Care Act ("ACA") with regards to guidance for employers. Most recently, is a written notice (the "Notice") that the ACA requires of many employers. The Notice must be provided by October 1, 2013 to all of the employer's current employees (whether full-time or part-time) and is intended to inform them of the health insurance coverage options available in the new Health Insurance Marketplace mandated by ACA. The following Q&A further explains the Notice:
Q: Which employers are required to distribute the Notice?
A: In general, all employers which are engaged in interstate commerce and whose gross annual revenue equals or exceeds $500,000 must provide this Notice. It should be noted that most hospitals, schools and government agencies are also required to distribute the Notice regardless of the amount of their annual revenue.
Q: When must the Notice be sent?
A: The Notice must be sent by October 1, 2013 to all current employees. For employees
hired after October 1, 2013, the Notice must be sent within 14 days of hiring.
Q: How should employers send the Notice?
A: The Notice should be distributed either by first class mail or by email if an employee has ready access to an individual email account and certain safeguards are met consistent with Department of Labor ("DOL") regulations.
Q: Has the DOL provided a Model Notice that can be used to
satisfy an employer's obligation to provide the Notice?
A: Yes. The DOL has provided a Model Notice for employers which do not offer a health plan for its employees and another Model Notice for employers which do offer a health plan to some or all of its employees. These two Model Notices can be found on the Department of Labor website or by clicking FLSA without plans or FLSA with plans.