The Affordable Care Act’s requirement that employers notify employees about the health insurance exchange by March 1, 2013, has been postponed indefinitely. The Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Treasury have postponed this requirement until the Secretary of Labor issues regulations about the notice and those regulations become effective. It is anticipated that the requirement for distribution of the notice will be in the late summer or fall of 2013, which will coordinate with the open enrollment period for the exchanges.
The exchange notice required by the ACA must include the following information:
Identification of the existence of the exchange and the manner in which employees may contact the exchange
Explanation that the employee may be eligible for tax credits to purchase health insurance on the exchange
Notification that the employee may lose the employer’s contribution toward health benefits, resulting in tax consequences if he or she purchases coverage through the exchange
What This Means for Employers
It is likely that the Department of Labor will issue a model notice that would satisfy the above requirements. Once the model notice is issued, Bernstein Shur’s Affordable Care Act Team will recommend whether employers should use that model or draft their own. For now, employers are relieved of the obligation to provide new and current employees with the notice, until further guidance is issued.
We will continue to keep employers apprised of developments related to the implementation of the notice requirement, as well as other issues related to the ACA. For more information, please contact Karen Aframe in Manchester, NH, at 603 623-8700 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Steve Gerlach in Portland, ME, at 207 228-7128 or email@example.com