Required Employer Notice to Employees

The Department of Labor released information about the required notice by employers to employees about the exchange.

From the Department of Labor Website:
Employers are required to provide the notice to each new employee at the time of hiring beginning October 1, 2013. For 2014, the Department will consider a notice to be provided at the time of hiring if the notice is provided within 14 days of an employee’s start date.

With respect to employees who are current employees before October 1, 2013, employers are required to provide the notice not later than October 1, 2013.

The notice must be provided in writing in a manner calculated to be understood by the average employee. It may be provided by first-class mail. Alternatively, it may be provided electronically if the requirements of the Department of Labor’s electronic disclosure safe harbor are met.

Health Care Reform Basics

As of January 1, 2014, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will require all individuals in the United States to have some form of health insurance. Integral to this reform, is the creation of state, regional and federal health care Exchanges, where individuals can purchase a variety of affordable health insurance plans and, if they fall within certain income levels, receive government-subsidized premiums.

This Act affects all businesses; however, large employers with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees will be required to:

A. Provide affordable health insurance coverage for all full-time employees,
B. Elect not to provide health insurance coverage, pay defined penalties, and send employees to a state, regional or federal Exchange to purchase insurance, or
C. Develop a new hybrid plan.

Employers who elect not to provide health insurance coverage will be assessed a penalty of $2,000 annually per full-time employees, minus the first 30 full-time employees if at least one employee receives an Exchange subsidy. Additionally, if an employer’s coverage is deemed unaffordable, the employer will be fined $3,000 for that employee.