Notice of Coverage Options Available Through the Exchanges: On January 24, the DOL released additional FAQs on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) implementation. Of note, is that the Notice of Coverage Options Available Through the Exchanges, originally to be provided to employees and new hires no later than March 1, 2013, has been delayed until further guidance is provided.
The DOL expects that the timing for distribution of this notice will be the late summer or fall of 2013, which will coordinate with the open enrollment period for Exchanges.
The notice must provide employees and new hires with information on:
- The existence of Exchanges, a description of their services, and how the employee can contact them to request assistance;
- Premium tax credits that may be available for purchasing a qualified health plan through an Exchange, if the employer plan’s share of the total allowed costs of benefits provided under the employer plan is less than 60 percent of such costs.
- The possible loss of the employer contribution (if any) toward employer provided health benefits if the employee purchases a qualified health plan through the exchange, and that the employer contribution may be excludable from Federal income tax.
In deciding to delay the notice deadline, the DOL cited two reasons:
- The notice should be coordinated with HHS’s educational efforts and IRS guidance on minimum value.
- The DOL is committed to a smooth implementation process including providing employers with sufficient time to comply and selecting an applicability date that ensures that employees receive the information at a meaningful time.
The DOL is considering providing model, generic language to satisfy the notice requirement, or providing employers with information on using an employer coverage template described under another proposed rule.
Either way, the DOL stated that future guidance on complying with the notice requirement is expected to provide flexibility and adequate time to comply.
Compliancedashboard’s Health Care Reform Summary and Health Care Reform Checklist have been updated to reflect this change. Click here to access this information (requires a Compliancedashboard login). Please note that the Checklist now allows you to update the “Date Completed/Completed By” column.