The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has been called by many names. It is loved by some, hated by some and understood by few. There has been a lot in the news about the bill. But, until further notice, under the new healthcare law employers must provide the required notices to their employees on October 1, 2013. This is something you can definitely DIY, once you have all the facts.
So, What About this Required Employee Notice?
The notice is the simple part, really. If you are subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires you to provide each employee as of October 1, 2013 and each new hire after October 1, 2013 with a written notice about the availability of the Marketplace. The written notice must do the following:
- Inform the employee of the Marketplace (or Exchange) and include a description of the services provided by the Marketplace
- Inform the employee how to contact the Marketplace for assistance
- Inform the employee of the availability of a premium tax credit if the employee buys a qualified health plan through the Marketplace and the employee’s share of the costs of benefits is less than 60% of the costs.
- Inform the employee that the employee may lose the employer contribution to any health insurance plan offered by the the employer.
- Inform the employee that all or a portion of the employer contribution to a health plan may be excludable from income for Federal income tax purposes.
Do I Give this Notice to All of My Employees?
Yes. If you are subject to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act through the Fair Labor Standards Act, you must provide the notice to all of your employees. Whether they are part-time, full-time, covered by your health insurance plan or not. You are not required to give a separate notice to dependents or other individuals who are or may become eligible for coverage under your health insurance plan if they are not employees.
When and How do I Give the Notice to My Employees?
You are required to give the notice to all of your employees no later than October 1, 2013. You must give the notice to each new employee hired on or after October 1, 2013. The notice is considered to be given at the time of hiring if it is given within 14 days of an employee’s start date.
The notice must be clearly written, so your average employee can understand it. You may provide the notice by first class mail.
Can I Email the Notice?
You may, but you must comply with the safe harbor requirements of the federal regulations regarding emailing of health insurance notices. You may email this notice to your employees if:
- You have a way of ensuring the employee actually received the information.
- You make sure to protect the confidentiality of personal information on the individual’s accounts and benefits. (Make sure no one else can access the system and you have protective measures to prevent unauthorized receipt of email messages in your system).
- Your electronic notice meets the form and content requirements of the notice.
- You include the right of your employee to receive a paper version of the notice.
Will I be Fined if I Miss the Deadline?
No. At this time, there is no fine for failing to provide the notice. That does not, however, mean you should not comply with the law.
- If you really want to know more about the requirements, check out the Department of Labor’s Technical Release providing temporary guidance on the notice requirements.
- The Department of Labor also offers free model notices to provide your employees. They offer one notice if you do not currently offer insurance to your employees, and another if you do.
- I have also prepared a sample notice you may use to give the notice to your employees. This notice is based on the model notice, but may be modified so it comes from you instead of the Department of Labor.
Download Your Healthcare Notices
I want to give you the employee notice you need to give your employees by October 1, 2013. There are two versions of the notice. The first is if you currently offer health insurance to your employees. The second is if you do not. Choose the file that fits your business.
Also, since I don’t know your choice word processor, I have included each file in Word and Pages. I have also included a PDF to make sure you see the formatting of the document, if something happens when you open up the editable file. Download what you need.
DOWNLOAD THESE IF YOU DO OFFER INSURANCE TO YOUR EMPLOYEES
DOWNLOAD THESE IF YOU DO NOT OFFER INSURANCE TO YOUR EMPLOYEES