Employers must send their ACA notification letter by October 1, 2013
On May 8, 2013, the Department of Labor issued Technical Release No 2013-2, which provided guidance about the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) employer notice to employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). As part of ACA employers are required to let all existing employees know about the ACA marketplace exchanges or face $100 per day fine for being out of compliance with the law. It also required all new employees hired after that point be notified of the ACA marketplace exchanges. The Obama administration extension of the employer mandate does not extend this requirement. It is therefore important all businesses distribute this information to their employees.
Here is a cliff-note version of the DOL guidance:
- A notice must go out to all employees for employers that FLSA applies to. Generally this means any company with 1 or more employees and $500,000 or more in yearly revenue. However there are a lot of exemptions to the $500,000 guidance. If in doubt it is best for employers to send out the notice.
- It doesn’t matter if employees are full-time or part-time. All employees must receive the notice.
- October 1, 2013, is considered the deadline to give this notice to current employees.
- Employers will have 14 days from a new employees start date to provide this notice in the future.
- The notice may be distributed via paper or electronically (such as by email).
DOL has provided two model notices; one for employees that offers a health plan and one for employees that do not offer a health plan. Using these models will satisfy the employer requirement to notify their employees of the ACA marketplace exchange. The forms must be filled out by the employers before passing them out to employees. It has the information that employees will provide to the marketplace exchange if they wish to utilize it.
You may also want to send a letter with the form explaining to employees why they are receiving it. The American Small Business Center has provided two template letters to assist with this. It is recommended all employers use a template such as this (along with the DOL model form) and save a copy of it with the date to show compliance.