As everyone continues to prepare, understand and implement all of the components of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), our clients can be assured that ALMEA Insurance, Inc. is here to help. As an employer, if you have any questions about your responsibilities under ACA, we can help guide you through the process. As an individual we can help guide you also.
Some components that were expected to be in place and functional by this time, have been delayed, so we are still waiting on a daily basis for updates from the Department of Labor (DOL) and the State of Oregon. As we receive updates, we will publish them in these monthly newsletters. Please watch for any information relevant to the implementation and timelines of ACA.
Exchange Notification to Employees Delayed
The deadline for employers to notify employees of the availability of Health Benefit Exchanges has been delayed from March 1, 2013, to late summer or fall of 2013.
The Department of Labor is considering providing model, generic language that could be used to satisfy the notice requirement. Future guidance on complying with the notice requirement under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) section 18B is expected to provide flexibility and adequate time to comply. Here is an excerpt from the new notice released Jan. 24, 2013:
The Department of Labor has concluded that the notice requirement under FLSA section 18B will not take effect on March 1, 2013 for several reasons.
First, this notice should be coordinated with HHS’s educational efforts and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance on minimum value.
Second, we are committed to a smooth implementation process including providing employers with sufficient time to comply and selecting an applicability date that ensures that employees receive the information at a meaningful time.
The Department of Labor expects that the timing for distribution of notices will be the late summer or fall of 2013, which will coordinate with the open enrollment period for Exchanges
Affordable Care Act Update
The ACA requires employers who provide group health insurance coverage to their employees to report the cost of that coverage (both the employer and employee contribution) on each employee’s W-2.
We’ve recently received updated information regarding this requirement:
- At this time, there is no deadline in place for employers with fewer than 250 W-2s for the preceding year to meet this requirement.
- Employers who filed more than 250 W-2s in 2012 for the 2011 tax year are required to do so beginning with 2012 tax year W-2s (distributed in early 2013);
- In future years, employers who filed more than 250 W-2s in the previous tax year are subject to this requirement.
Health and Human Services announced that the employer notice requirement, originally due March 1, 2013, has been delayed until late summer or fall of 2013. At that time, employers of all sizes must notify all current employees of the health insurance exchanges and premium subsidies. After 2013, all future employees must receive the notice at their date of hire.
The written notice must include:
- The availability of a health insurance exchange, including a description of their services and contact information;
- The employee’s potential eligibility for federal assistance if the employer’s plan is “unaffordable”; and
- The potential loss of the employer’s contribution to health coverage if employees purchase their own health insurance coverage through the state exchange.
The Department of Labor will announce the exact due date later this year, and may distribute a model notice at that time.
Penalties for noncompliance are unknown at this time.
Online Guide Gives Oregon Employers Answers They Need
Most of our carriers have some excellent resources. Have you checked out PacificSourse’s HealthcareLawGuide.com lately? They recently added several pages of useful healthcare reform information for Oregon employers. The guide, called Healthcare Reform: What Oregon Employers Need to Know, is geared to help employers make sense of the exchanges, subsidies, tax credits, essential health benefits, and much more.
Learn More about Reform
Henry J Kaiser Family Foundation Implementation Timeline.
Henry J Kaiser Family Foundation. Penalties for Employers Not offering Affordable Coverage.