Health Care Exchange Notice Requirement Delayed

March 1, 2013, was the date set for employers to provide the Notice of Health Care Exchange to employees. However, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has delayed that requirement. The DOL did not provide a new due date for the notice, but expects the timing to be late summer or early fall of 2013, which will coincide with the open enrollment period for exchanges. The DOL may provide a model notice in the interim. MSEC will notify members once further guidance is available.

Employers covered under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) are required to provide notice to employees about the state’s health insurance exchanges which become available January 1, 2014. Current employees must receive the notice in writing by the date set by the DOL; new hires must receive the notice at time of hire.

The notice must include:

• A statement explaining the existence of the exchange

• A description of services provided by the exchange

• Contact information for the exchange to obtain assistance

• Employees’ eligibility for premium tax credits or cost-sharing reductions in situations where the employer’s share of the employer-sponsored health plan is less than 60 percent of the total costs, and the employee purchases a qualified health plan through an exchange

• An explaination that if the employee buys a qualified health plan through the exchange:
– The employee may lose any employer contributions toward the cost of  employer-sponsored health plans, and
– A portion or all of an employer’s contributions to employer-sponsored health plans may be excluded from income for federal income tax purposes.

• Contact information for customer service and an explanation of appeal rights

The notice must also meet access and readability requirements.