Department of Labor (DOL) Issues Model Notices to Employees Describing Health Insurance Exchanges
Deadline to Provide Notices is October 1, 2013
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), the new health care reform law passed in 2010, requires many employers to notify their employees of the availability of health coverage under the new health insurance exchanges that are required to be operational effective January 1, 2014. All employers subject to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act must provide this notice, regardless of whether the employer currently offers health coverage to its employees. Employers must provide the notice to all full and part-time employees (but not to dependents).
On May 8, 2013, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued model notices for employers to use in satisfying these requirements. A copy of the notice for employers that offer health coverage is available here and a copy of the notice for employers that do not offer health coverage is available here.
Employers are free to modify the model notices provided that the notices, as modified, continue to satisfy the content requirements set forth in the PPACA. Employers must provide the notices to their existing employees no later than October 1, 2013. Employees hired on or after October 1, 2013 must receive the notice no later than 14 days after their hire date.
The notices may be provided by first class mail or electronically if the DOL's electronic disclosure rules are met.
Model COBRA Notice
Additionally, the DOL updated its model COBRA notice for use by employers in notifying employees of their rights to continue (after certain losses of coverage) coverage under the employer's health plan. The updated model notice contains information about the new health insurance exchanges. A copy of the updated model notice is available here.