Employers Must Provide Marketplace Notice by October 1, 2013

September 25, 2013

October 1, 2013 is an important date for all employers as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) become a reality to employees in workplaces.  PPACA’s Health Insurance Marketplace permits individuals who are not covered on an employer health plan to purchase health insurance. The Marketplace is slated to become operational on January 1, 2014, but individuals can begin signing up at https://www.healthcare.gov/on October 1, 2013.

All employers who are subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) must provide written notice to all current employees about the Marketplace by October 1, 2013.  In general, the FLSA applies to employers that employ one or more employees who are engaged in, or produce goods for, interstate commerce. For most employers, a test of not less than $500,000 in annual dollar volume of business applies.  For employees that begin employment on or after October 1, 2013, employers must provide the Marketplace Notice within 14 days of the employee’s start date.  The Marketplace Notice may be provided to employees by first-class mail. Alternatively, it can be provided electronically if employees have work-related computer access that is integral to their job duties. Any employee that does not have work-related computer access must affirmatively consent to electronic disclosure.

The Department of Labor has prepared two model notices which employers may use that can be found by clicking here. One model notice is for use by employers that do not provide health coverage and the second notice is for employers that offer a plan to some or all employees.  Many insurance brokers have prepared model notices for use by their clients.

Last week, the U.S. Department of Labor posted a notice on its website advising that there is no fine or penalty under PPACA for failing to provide the Marketplace Notice.  Despite this post, employers are encouraged to comply with the requirements of law.

If you have questions about your obligations under PPACA, or how to address employee’s questions about PPACA, please contact Theresa Mongiovi, Esquire, Chair of BCGL’s Employment and Labor Law Department at 945-5763.