On May 8, 2013, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued temporary guidance on the employee notification requirements that are a result of the Affordable Care Act (HCR).

As part of the Affordable Care Act, a new Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) Section 18B was created that requires employers to notify employees of coverage options available through the Health Insurance Marketplace (aka “the Exchange”).

Employers may use one of these models, as applicable, or a modified version, provided the notice meets the content requirements described below. New employees must receive this notice at the time of hiring beginning October 1, 2013. For 2014, the DOL will consider a notice to be provided at the time of hiring if the notice is provided within 14 days of an employee’s start date. Current employees must receive notice no later than October 1, 2013.

The requirements of this notice include:

  • Inform employees about the existence of the Exchange and describe the services provided by the Exchange and the manner in which the employee may contact the Marketplace to request assistance;
  • Explain how employees may be eligible for a premium tax credit or a cost-sharing reduction if the employer’s plan does not meet certain requirements;
  • Inform employees that if they purchase coverage through the exchange, they may lose any employer contribution toward the cost of employer-provided coverage, and that all or a portion of this employer contribution may be excludable for federal income tax purposes; and include contact information for the Exchange and an explanation of appeal rights.

In addition, the DOL’s temporary guidance includes a new COBRA model election notice, which has been updated to include information regarding health coverage alternatives offered through the Exchanges.

All of the above information, model notices and language included, is available on the DOL’s website…. Just click here.

Available are copies of the DOL’s model notice for employers who offer a health plan to some or all employees and the model COBRA continuation election notice.

We are currently working with all COBRA Administrators to be sure the proper updates will be sent your way.

For additional information, please contact your Stellar representative.