October Surprise in the Affordable Care Act

October Surprise in the Affordable Care Act – Important News for Employers and Employees

August 22, 2013

With less than six weeks left to go, many employers are surprised to learn they must notify and educate their employees about the new Health Insurance Marketplace and Exchanges by October 1st.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) Section 18B mandate this notice requirement.

Alarmingly, seven out of ten employers recently surveyed by Good-Thrift Benefit Corporation never heard about this notice requirement.  Worse yet, many did not think it applied to them because they have fewer than 50 employees, or because they already provide health insurance.

To the contrary, the notice requirement applies to all employers covered by the FLSA as generally described in the May 8, 2013 U. S. Department of Labor Technical Release 2013-02.

Apparently,  many employers and their insurance brokers either did not receive or understand the Department of Labor’s technical release. Adding to the confusion, many employers don’t seem to know if they are covered by the FLSA – but the test is simple.  If an employer must pay over-time wages for more than 40 hours per week, they are covered by the FLSA and must give notice and education to all of their employees by October 1st  about the Health Insurance Marketplace and Exchanges. In reality, the FLSA covers just about all employers with very few exceptions.

Employers must also use prescribed model documents to provide the notice to their employees.  Employers covered by the FLSA that fail to provide proper notice about the Health Insurance Marketplace and Exchanges risk penalties.

If you are an employer with questions about the notice requirement and model documents, contact Good-Thrift Benefit Corporation to receive a free Health Insurance Marketplace and Exchanges Notice and Education Tool Kit.  If you are an employee who wants to help your employer meet the October 1st deadline, avoid the penalties, and learn about the new health insurance options available through the Affordable Care Act, contact info@Good-Thrift.com.