The President announced on July 2nd of 2013, that certain key provision of the Healthcare Reform Law would be delayed until 2015. Businesses with 50 or more employees will not be penalized for declining to offer health insurance to their employees in 2014. This postponement provided a level of relief for many employers regarding Health Care.
However, other key provisions of the Law are still in effect with deadlines fast approaching. One such provision with an October 1, 2013 deadline includes Section 1512 of the Affordable Care Act, which creates a new Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) section requiring notifying employees of coverage options available through the new Healthcare Insurance Marketplace (http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/newsroom/tr13-02.html).
It doesn’t matter if an employer sponsors a health plan or not, the employer must still let employees know about their options that are available on January 1, 2014.
By October 1st 2013, employers must provide employees information related to:
1. The existence of the Marketplace (referred to in the statute as the Exchange) including a description of the services provided by the Marketplace, and the manner in which the employee may contact the Marketplace to request assistance;
2. If the employer plan’s share of the total allowed costs of benefits provided under the plan is less than 60 percent of such costs, the employee may be eligible for a premium tax credit if the employee purchases a qualified health plan through the Marketplace; and
3. If the employee purchases a qualified health plan through the Marketplace, the employee may lose the employer contribution (if any) to any health benefits plan offered by the employer and that all or a portion of such contribution may be excludable from income for Federal income tax purposes.
Model notices can be downloaded from the DOL at http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/healthreform/. There are two separate notices; one for those who currently offer health coverage and one for those who do not. The Department of Labor is recommending employers provide the forms either electronically or by certified mail to ensure receipt.