Affordable Care Action Item: You’ve Got 25 Days to Distribute Your Marketplace Notices…

“Beginning January 1, 2014, individuals and employees of small businesses will be able to purchase medical coverage through state and federal health insurance exchanges. These Marketplaces will offer ‘one-stop shopping’ to find and compare health insurance options.” (King & Spalding)

It’s true – President Obama gave employers an extra year to meet the Affordable Care Act’s “Shared Responsibility” deadline earlier this year. But implementation of Obamacare marches on…

The next deadline: October 1, 2013. That’s the date by which all companies must provide employees with a “Marketplace Notice” describing the new Health Insurance Marketplaces scheduled to begin operations on that day.

What to include in the notice? From attorneys at Saul Ewing:

“The Marketplace Notice must contain the following information:

  • The existence of the Marketplace, including a description of the services provided by the Marketplace, and how the employee may contact the Marketplace to request assistance;
  • The employee might be eligible for a premium tax credit if the employee purchases coverage through the Marketplace; and
  • If the employee does purchase coverage 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 any employer contributions may be excludable from income for federal income tax purposes.”

For your information, a roundup of recent legal updates on the Marketplace Notice:

The Employer’s Playbook for ACA Compliance: October 1, 2013 Deadline to Provide Health Insurance Marketplace Notice (Saul Ewing LLP):

“Your employees will be bombarded with information about the new Health Insurance Marketplace, from numerous sources. […] [I]t is important to manage your employees’ expectations, as well as anticipate their questions. While you should be careful not to make incorrect statements or misrepresentations about Marketplace coverage or any employer-provided coverage that may be available, consider including a cover letter that will address some of your employees’ questions and concerns.” Read on>>

October 1 Affordable Care Act Deadline Looms (XpertHR):

“The notice of coverage options must be provided to all employees, regardless of plan enrollment status or of part-time or full-time status. Notices do not have to be provided to dependents, or other individuals who are not employees who may become eligible for coverage under the plan.” Read on>>

Affordable Care Act Requires Employers To Provide Health Insurance Exchange Notices By October 1, 2013 (Laner Muchin, Ltd.):

“New employees hired between October 1, 2013 and December 31, 2013 must receive the notice on their hire date, while new hires in 2014 may be provided the notice within 14 days of their hire date. Notices are not required to be provided to non-employees (e.g., dependents, independent contractors, etc.).” Read on>>

Complying with the Affordable Care Act’s Exchange Notice Requirement (Mintz Levin):

“The notice must be provided in writing in a manner calculated to be understood by the average employee. It may be provided by first-class mail. Alternatively, it may be provided electronically if the requirements of the Department of Labor’s electronic disclosure safe harbor … are met.” Read on>>

The Clock is Ticking — October 1 Deadline Approaches for Employers to Issue Health Care Exchange Notice (Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC):

“Note: Employers relying on the electronic safe harbor must ensure that the system for furnishing documents results in actual receipt by the employee and must inform the employee of his or her right to request a paper version of the notice.” Read on>>

DOL Guidance on Notice of Exchange Options (Morgan Lewis):

“The notice must be provided to existing employees on or before October 1, 2013. Presumably, this includes employees hired after September 15, 2013, meaning, in some cases, the notice must be provided less than 14 days after date of hire.” Read on>>

Additional reading:

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Find more updates on the Health Insurance Exchanges at JD Supra Law News>>