Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) Update
On May 6, the U.S. Department of Labor published guidelines for employers required to provide notice to employees about the availability of health benefit exchanges (known in California as "Covered California").
DOL earlier in 2013 delayed the employer notice requirement (see Deadline for Notice of Health Exchange Availability Delayed, FELS Newsletter, February 2013).There are two different forms, one for employers offering coverage and one for employers not offering coverage, and this is yet another paperwork burden imposed on employers. And while employers will not be required to provide this notice until October 2013, since Covered California is not yet accepting enrollments furnishing this notice earlier will likely trigger a blizzard of questions no one can answer yet.
If you have questions or comments, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-753-9073.
The Department of Labor's Employee Benefits Security Administration updated its Affordable Care Act web page with the following information on the notice to employees of coverage options:
Required Employer Notices
Employers are required to provide their employees with a written notice about the State Health Exchanges and to explain some of the benefits and consequences to employees if they choose to purchase a qualified plan through the State Exchange, as opposed to electing for coverage under an employer-sponsored health plan. The "Exchange Notice" requirement applies to all employers covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act and must be distributed, in writing (electronic or hard copy). The DOL has delayed the Employer Exchange Notice provision, until the final regulations are released - Read more:DOL FAQ. Previously DOL had announced that the notice requirement was by March 1, 2013.The notice must include:
1. Services provided by the exchange.
Although HHS has indicated that model notices will be provided, as of January 2013, a release date has not been announced - DOL has not indicated whether a model notice will be given.
The following is a brief Q&A of the new requirement, to better understand the reporting regulation, to see whether or not you'll be beholden to it in the coming calendar year, and what additional steps you'll have to take to ensure compliance:
What is the new W-2 reporting requirement under PPACA?
Does this requirement apply to me?
Which plans coverage costs must be included?
Which plams are excluded?
If I self-insure, how do I determine what the "applicable premium" is?
(Source: National Council of Agricultural Employers, www.ncaeonline.org)