Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), employers are required to give employees written notice about their options for purchasing health insurance through Affordable Insurance Exchanges (Health Insurance Marketplaces). Though the original March 1, 2013 deadline was delayed, the Department of Labor (DOL) recently announced the new deadline for employers to begin giving this notice.
Beginning October 1, 2013, employers must provide the required ACA notice to new employees at the time of hiring. In 2014, the DOL will allow employers to satisfy this requirement by providing the notice within 14 days of an employee’s start date. An employer’s current employees must receive their notice no later than October 1, 2013.
Notice must be given to each employee regardless of their plan enrollment status or their part-time or full-time status. Employers are not required to provide a separate notice to dependents or other individuals who are or may become eligible for coverage under the plan. The notice, which must be understood by the average employee, may be provided by first-class mail or, in some instances, electronically.
The ACA’s notice requirement applies to employers covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The FLSA generally applies to employers with one or more employees who are engaged in, or produce goods for, interstate commerce. Also the FLSA typically does not cover enterprises with less than $500,000 in annual dollar volume of business. However, the FLSA does cover specific entities regardless of their dollar volume of business, including hospitals, preschools, elementary and secondary schools, institutions of higher education, and federal, state and local government agencies.
To help employers satisfy their notice requirement, the DOL has prepared two model notices. There is one model notice for employers who offer a health plan to some or all employees, and another model notice for employers who do not offer a health plan. Employers may also use modified versions of these model notices as long as the required information is present.
If you would like to learn more about your obligations under the Fair Labor Standards Act, click here. If you would like information about insuring against FLSA claims, click here.
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