DOL Clarifies Employer Health Insurance Notification Duty

Companies should provide notification to employees by Oct. 1, but no fines for failing to do so

MONDAY, Sept. 30 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Department of Labor has provided clarification in the form of a frequently-asked-questions (FAQ) document, relating to employer obligations to provide employees with written notice about the Affordable Care Act's health insurance marketplaces by Oct. 1, 2013.

The Department of Labor notes that companies covered by the Fair Labor Standards should provide this information to employees by Oct. 1, but will not be fined for failing to do so. Confusion about the compliance date arose when the Affordable Care Act's employer mandate was delayed until 2015.

The Department of Labor has also provided information about what should be included in the employee notice. In addition to general information about health insurance marketplaces, the notice should advise employees about their ability to purchase lower cost private health insurance in the marketplace compared with employer-offered insurance. Employees must also be notified that when they buy insurance through the marketplace, they may lose any contribution from their employer.

"There is no fine or penalty under the law for failing to provide the notice," according to the Department of Labor FAQ document.

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