The Department of Labor (DOL) recently issued temporary guidance and model notices for the Notice to Employees of Coverage Options (also referred to as the Marketplace or Exchange Notice). This guidance will remain in effect until the DOL issues other regulations or other guidance. Employers will be given adequate time to comply if new guidance has any additional or modified requirements. An updated model notice for the Election Notice under COBRA was also included in this guidance and additional information fromCompliancedashboard is forthcoming.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) added a requirement under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) for employers to provide a notice to employees informing them of:
- The existence of the new Marketplace (referred to as the Exchange in the ACA).
- If the employer’s plan does not provide “minimum value” (cover at least 60% of total allowed costs), employees may be eligible for a premium tax credit if they purchase a plan through the Marketplace.
- If employees purchase a plan through the Marketplace, they may lose the employer contribution (if any) made toward the employer’s plans and that this contribution may be exempt from federal taxes.
Under the ACA, this notice was to be provided no later than March 1, 2013. In January, the DOL delayed the deadline until further notice. This temporary guidance requires the notice to be provided to current employees no later than October 1, 2013 and to new employees hired after October 1, 2013, within 14 days of their start date.
The model notice provided by the DOL requires the employer to add specific information about the plan and who can enroll. Employers also have the option of providing employee-specific information to the notice.
A new compliance activity will be added to Compliancedashboard with instructions for employers to comply with this regulation. In the meantime, employers can review the guidance and model notices provided by the DOL: