The Affordable Care Act Exchange Notices
There have been hundreds of online articles published in recent days regarding a $100-Per-Day Penalty to Employers who do not notify their Employees about the healthcare exchange under the below guidelines. Specifically, FoxBusiness has reported the penalty, but nothing has officially been stated on the DOL.GOV website.
What are the specifics?
If you are a business owner that produces $500,000 in annual revenue and has at least ONE employee, you are responsible for notifying all current employees, regardless if they are part-time or full-time of the Health Insurance Marketplace Coverage Options. In respect to current employees before October 1, 2013, employers are required to provide one of two notices no later than this date. The notice may be provided in writing and be mailed via first-class or sent electronically(1).
An example of how to notify your Employees:
The Exchange Notice Without Plans may be sent to Employees who are not currently offered a health plan by their Employer. The Exchange Notice With Plans may be sent to Employees who are offered a health plan by their Employer. Employers may send their own notices as long as it follows the same context as the above-referenced notices. Going forward, any employee hired after October 1, 2013 must be notified within 14 days of their start date.
Your human resources department should be up-to-date on all of these guidelines, but double checking to ensure these steps are carefully examined and are taking place is crucial to saving your company a large penalty charge via the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act for non-compliance.
For a complete outline regarding the Model Exchange Notices, please visit the United States Department of Labor Release.
Moreover, Mintz Levin issued an Enforcement paragraph within their article: Complying with the Affordable Care Act's Exchange Notice Requirement, which is highlight below.
The Act does not appear to impose any separate penalty for ignoring the exchange notice requirement. The FLSA authorizes administrative actions, civil suits and criminal prosecutions for violations of pre-existing FLSA sections, but not, it seems, for this requirement. This does not mean, of course, that noncompliance is a good idea or even a viable option. The lack of penalties does not translate into a lack of consequences. Plan sponsors still have a fiduciary obligation to be forthcoming with plan participants and beneficiaries. (This situation is similar to the rules governing the distribution of summary plan descriptions — while not technically required, there are many good reasons to comply.)
To ensure your company is in compliance in all areas of the Affordable Health Care Act, feel free to contact us at any time with your questions.
(1): If sent via electronic mail, the requirements of the Department of Labor’s electronic disclosure safe harbor at 29 CFR 2520.104b-1(c) must be met.