It has been widely reported that Tuesday October 1st is the start of the ObamaCareHealth Insurance Exchanges or HIX. It has also been widely reported that compliance with the “employer mandate”, where all employers with 50 or more full time employees, has been delayed until 2015. Under reported and probably unknown to most smallbiz employers, especially those not providing benefits to their employees, is another ObamaCare mandate coming on 10/01/2013:
All employers, who are subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) must notify all current and new employees by October 1st of their health plan coverage options available through the Health Insurance Marketplace. Yes, even if your smallbiz is employing only one employee, you must comply with this requirement!
Employers must provide notice to each employee, regardless of whether the employee is enrolled in a plan or whether the employee works part-time or full-time. Employers are not required to notify dependents or other individuals who are not employees. Notice must be in writing and be sent by first class mail or electronically (subject to Dept. of Labor standards). The notice must inform employees of the following:
ØInfo about the exchange in their state or the federal exchange if that state is not providing one
ØThey may be eligible for federal tax credits
ØIf they purchase insurance through an exchange, they could lose employer contributions to employer health plans
The DOL has provided Employers two model notices that cover all stated requirements:
To be clear, employers of one to 50 full-time employees, are not subject to the employer mandate, even in 2015, and do not have to provide health insurance to their employees. However, all employers are required to give notice to all employees about the Health Insurance Exchanges on or before October 1st, 2013.
The DOL set up an overly extensive page of links, including these notices and other ObamaCare related issues here.
As part of the Health Insurance Marketplace, ObamaCare created Small Business Health Options Program or SHOP, where smallbiz employers with less than 50 full time employees can shop for group health plans starting October 1st. For more information about SHOP, smallbiz employer requirements go here.
CEO & Founder of SmallBiZ.com, created over twenty years ago to help small business owners simplify the process of starting & managing their small businesses. SmallBiZ.com now serves over 10,000 businesses per year with various filing and subscription services; in addition to the 1000's of daily visitors to www.smallbiz.com, accessing free services, help pages, & educational videos & webinars.