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Employers Must Provide Notice on Health Insurance Marketplace by October 1, 2013

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“PPACA” sometimes referred to as Obamacare) creates a number of new requirements for employers. Recently, the Internal Revenue Service and Department of Labor announced that some of these requirements will be delayed until 2014 or 2015 to give employers, and the government, more time to ensure a smooth transition.

However, one requirement that has not been delayed until next year is the requirement that all employers subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act give notice to employees about the new Health Insurance Marketplace. The Marketplace is a government-run website that gives individuals and employees of small business the ability to find and compare private health insurance options. Under the PPACA, applicable employers must, by October 1, 2013, provide written notice to employees of the following:

  • The existence of the Marketplace, including a description of the services provided and how to access those services;
  • The eligibility of the employee for a premium tax credit if the employee purchases a qualified plan through the Marketplace; and
  • Notice that the employee may lose the employer contribution (if any) to any health benefits plan offered by the employer if the employee purchases a qualified health plan through the Marketplace.

The notices must be provided to all employees, regardless of whether they are full or part-time or if they’re currently covered by the employer’s health care policy. Employees hired after October 1, 2013 must be given the notice within 14 days of the employee’s start date.

The Department of Labor has two model notices available on its website at www.dol.gov/ebsa/healthreform, one for employers without a health plan and one for employers with a health plan. Note that the model notices are not state specific and some employers may want to alter the notice to give employees more comprehensive information. More information on the notices is provided by the Department of Labor in Technical Release No. 2013-02, provided at http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/newsroom/tr13-02.html.

The employment and tax lawyers at Samuels Yoelin Kantor LLP are available to provide counseling and answers on PPACA-related questions.