The following was published by Doug Duncan, President of Your HR Solutions.
|Today is the day the new health care exchanges open under the Affordable Care Act, and it also is the date by which employers should have notified employees about the availability of the exchanges. Do you know what information you have to provide?|
|Q: Which employers are required to provide notices to employees regarding the ACA health insurance exchanges? Do only those who do not provide health insurance coverage to employees have to comply? Are there any penalties if we do not provide the notices?|
|A: Any employer covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) or that has an employee covered by the FLSA must comply. And, it does not matter whether your organization provides health insurance to employees you still have to provide the notices. Here is a brief
synopsis of the notice requirement.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, often referred to as ACA, was passed in 2010 and substantially overhauls the U.S. health care system in an attempt to provide health insurance to all Americans and to reduce health care costs. The law requires all individuals (with some exceptions) to have health care insurance and creates a complicated system of health insurance exchanges, subsidies, Medicaid expansion, government review panels, employer requirements, and insurance company coverage mandates. Most of the law’s provisions take effect in 2014 and 2015. By January 1, 2014, all individuals must have health insurance or face penalties, and by January 1, 2015, all large employers must provide health insurance for employees or face penalties. However, a few key provisions take effect today, October, 1, 2013, including the requirements that health insurance exchanges open to allow individuals to purchase health insurance and that employers notify employees of the exchanges. Beginning January 1, 2014, individuals and employees of small businesses will have access to health care coverage through a new health insurance market, referred to as the Health Insurance Marketplace.
According to the Department of Labor (DOL), the Marketplace offers “one-stop shopping” to find and compare private health insurance options. Open enrollment for health insurance coverage through the Marketplace begins today, October 1. Section 1512 of the ACA creates a new Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) section 18B requiring employers to provide a notice to employees of coverage options available through the Marketplace.