The first big requirement under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is fast approaching, and employers face a compliance date of October 1, 2013. Employers covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) must provide a notice of coverage options to each employee, regardless of plan enrollment status (if applicable) or of part-time or full-time status. Although the ACAâ€™s employer mandate was delayed, the delay had no effect on the requirement for employers to provide this form.
Current employees must receive the notice by October 1, 2013. In addition, from that date forward, employers must provide the notice to each new employee at the time that he/she is hired. For 2014, the Department of Labor (DOL) will consider a notice to be provided at the time of hiring if the notice is provided within 14 days of an employeeâ€™s start date.
The notice informs the employee of:
The notice also provides information about the employerâ€™s health plan, or lack thereof.
The DOL also created two model notices: one model for employers who do not offer a health plan and a second model for covered employers who offer a health plan for some or all employees:
Employers Covered by the Notice Requirement
The exchange notice requirement applies to all employers covered by the FLSA. Generally, the FLSA covers employers that employ one or more employees and who are engaged in, or produce goods for, interstate commerce. For most firms, a test of not less than $500,000 in annual dollar volume of business applies. The FLSA automatically covers some specific entities, including federal, state and local government agencies, hospitals and most schools.
Specific questions about whether your organization is covered by the notice requirement should be directed to your benefits administrator or other benefits expert.
Delivery of Notice
You must provide the notice in writing, and in a way that is understood by the average employee. The notice must be provided free of charge. Employers are not required to provide a separate notice to dependents or other individuals who are, or may become, eligible for coverage under the plan but who are not employees.
The notice can be provided by first-class mail or electronically. Electronic delivery of the notice must meet the requirements of the DOLâ€™s electronic disclosure safe harbor. Generally:
This is just a general overview of the electronic notice requirements. More information about these requirements can be found by reading the existing regulation. Questions should also be directed to your benefits administrator or benefits expert.
Things to Know