Distribute Exchange Notice by October 1
Employers should be gearing up to distribute the newly required Health Care Marketplace Notice to all employees by October 1, 2013.
Health care reform requires all employers, regardless of size, to inform their employees about the availability of health insurance coverage through the new health care marketplaces or “Exchanges.” The Exchange Notice must be given to existing employees by October 1, 2013 and to all new employees within 14 days of hire.
Earlier this year, the Department of Labor issued two model Exchange Notices that may be used to satisfy the distribution requirement. One model is for an employer with a health plan, and the other model is for an employer without a health plan.
The Exchange Notice
- informs the employee about the newly formed Exchanges,
- explains that the employee may be eligible for a premium tax credit or a cost-sharing reduction if the employer’s plan does not meet certain requirements
- explains that purchasing coverage through an Exchange may prevent the employee from receiving an employer contribution toward the purchase of employer health coverage (which could be excludable from tax), and
- provides contact information for assistance.
While the Department of Labor has released guidance saying that an employer will not be subject to a penalty if the notice is not sent, the law does require that an employer provide the Exchange Notice to all employees, both full time and part time. It may be sent by regular mail or hand delivered. In certain situations, the Notice may be delivered by email.
Employers should be sure they are going to distribute the Exchange Notice by the end of the month, and then to newly hired employees thereafter.
For information on how BAS can assist with Notice distribution for your active employees, contact info@BASusa.com.