The Affordable Care Act (ACA) (otherwise known as “Obamacare”) requires all employers covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (one or more employees and $500,000 in annual business volume in interstate commerce) to notify all of their employees (full and part-time) of the availability of employer-provided health care coverage and coverage by state exchanges beginning January 1, 2014. The notices must be sent by regular mail or by email to all employees on the payroll on that date, and the same notice must be provided to all new hires on the beginning of their employment or within 14 days of their first day of employment after October 1, 2013. This is a one-time notice and need not be sent annually, but new employees must be notified when they are hired. Also, employers’ notices regarding continuation of health coverage on termination of employment – COBRA notices — also must be updated with the state exchange information. Employers with bargaining unit employees covered by Taft Hartley health plans should be sent or request forms from the plan to complete Part B of the U.S. Department of Labor’s sample forms for employees covered by those plans. Employers that provide other types of coverage for non-bargaining unit personnel should receive the same information from providers to be given to those employees-that is, information about the exchanges and whether the coverage meets the ACA affordability requirements.
Go to the U.S. Department of Labor for explanatory materials (http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/newsroom/tr13-02.html) and two sample notices:
one for employers that offer coverage (http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/pdf/FLSAwithplans.pdf) and
one for employers that do not offer coverage (http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/pdf/FLSAwithoutplans.pdf).
A sample of a revised COBRA notice is also available at http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/modelelectionnotice.doc.