As you may be aware, part of the new regulations for the Affordable Care Act require that employers notify employees of the upcoming Health Insurance Exchanges. A written notice must be provided to all employees, regardless of whether they work full-time or part-time, or whether or not they are currently eligible for employer-sponsored health benefits.
Employers are required to provide the notice no later than October 1, 2013 to all current employees. Beginning October 1, 2013 employers are required to provide the notice to each new employee at the time of hiring. For 2014, the regulations state that “at the time of hiring” will mean that the notice is provided within 14 days of an employee’s start date. The notice must be provided automatically, free of charge.
In order to support you in these efforts, we have provided the exchange notices below in link form and recommend these forms be used. Employers will need to determine which form is appropriate per employee, complete the form, and distribute on an individual employee basis. The notices may be provided by first-class mail or electronically (as long as the requirements of the DOL’s electronic disclosure safe harbor are met).
- Eligible for an employer-sponsored health plan (regardless of whether enrolled)
- Not eligible for an employer-sponsored health plan or employer doesn’t offer health insurance
Additionally, COBRA notices should be updated to include the Health Insurance Marketplace language no later than 10/1/2013. Please find the approved additional language below:
There may be other coverage options for you and your family. When key parts of the health care law take effect, you’ll be able to buy coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace. In the Marketplace, you could be eligible for a new kind of tax credit that lowers your monthly premiums right away, and you can see what your premium, deductibles, and out-of-pocket costs will be before you make a decision to enroll. Being eligible for COBRA does not limit your eligibility for coverage for a tax credit through the Marketplace. Additionally, you may qualify for a special enrollment opportunity for another group health plan for which you are eligible (such as a spouse’s plan), even if the plan generally does not accept late enrollees, if you request enrollment within 30 days.
For more information about your rights under ERISA, including COBRA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and other laws affecting group health plans, visit the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) website at www.dol.gov/ebsa or call their toll-free number at 1-866-444-3272 For more information about health insurance options available through a Health Insurance Marketplace, visit www.healthcare.gov.