The Department of Labor (DOL) has announced that a requirement for employers to inform employees about the availability of health care exchanges under Section 18B of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), as added by the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”), will not go into effect on March 1, 2013, as previously scheduled.
Under the ACA, exchanges are state- or regionally-based, competitive marketplaces where individuals and small employers can obtain health coverage from various health insurance carriers. The exchanges are scheduled to be operational by January 1, 2014.
Section 18B of the FLSA, as added by the ACA, requires employers to provide employees with a notice containing certain information about the health care exchanges, such as a description, contact information, and the potential impact on the employee if he or she purchases coverage through an exchange (e.g., the employee may lose the employer contribution toward health insurance or that the employee may be eligible for a premium tax credit).
Notice Requirement Delayed:
The deadline for providing the notice was originally March 1, 2013, but the Department of Labor recently announced that the requirement will be delayed until regulations are issued and become applicable (the Department anticipates late summer or fall of 2013). The DOL also indicated that it is considering providing model language that could be used to satisfy the notice requirement.