The Department of Labor announced in mid-September 2013 that at this time they will not penalize employers who do not provide their employees with notification of the availability of the Health Marketplace (the Exchanges).
Virtually all employers are required to provide these notices by October 1, 2013, regardless of whether or not they offer health insurance to their employees. Notice is to be provided to full-and part-time workers who were hired on or before September 30, 2013, regardless of the size of the employer. For employees hired after September 30, 2013, the notification is to be provided within 14 days of the start of their employment. The Department of Labor has announced that there is no penalty for failure to provide these notices.
Employers who have not yet provided the “required” notification to their employees are encouraged to do so.
The U.S. Department of Labor issued two model notices to assist employers in complying with this requirement. The model notices consist of “Part A: General Information,” and “Part B: Information About Health Coverage Offered by Your Employer.” Both parts must be completed (except as noted below) before being issued to the employee.
For employers that currently offer health insurance
Part B of the model form provides information regarding the health coverage provided and related restrictions on coverage. It also provides a box to check that the employer coverage provided meets both the minimum value and the affordability standards of the Affordable Care Act. We recommend that the employer consult with its insurance provider to determine the correct answer to this question. Part B, Questions 13-16 are not required to be completed; they represent optional information the employer can provide at its discretion.
For employers that currently do not offer health insurance
Part B of the model form provides employer contact information and the affirmative statement that no coverage is offered.