Obamacare employee notices required by October 1, 2013

By Roger Kramer, CPA, CITP

August 20, 2013

Unless there is further action by the Obama administration delaying implementation of the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act, employers are required to provide notices by October 1, 2013 (date open enrollment begins) to employees regarding the Health Insurance Marketplace (also known as the health care insurance Exchange).   Notices must provide coverage options to each employee, regardless of plan enrollment status or of part-time or full-time status.

 Model notices are provided by the US Dept of Labor for employers who offer a health plan to some or all employees and for employers who do not offer a health plan.

 For employers that do not offer coverage or offer coverage that does not meet an affordability test, employees may be eligible for a tax credit that lowers their costs of purchasing insurance through the Exchange. The credit applies if the employer’s health plan does not meet a minimum value standard under which the plan’s share of total benefits’ costs are no less than 60 percent of such costs, or the plan cost is more than 9.5 percent of household income for the year.

 Employers subject to this notice requirement include those who are subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act. In general, this applies to employers with one or more employees who are engaged in interstate commerce.  For most firms, a test of not less than $500,000 in annual dollar volume of business applies.  See DOL Technical Release No. 2013-02

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