Author: Tracy Morley, XpertHR Legal Editor

The US Department of Labor (DOL) has released temporary guidance on the notice of health insurance exchanges required under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). An employer must provide the required notice to current employees no later than October 1, 2013 and to new employees upon hire.

The guidance includes model notices that an employer may use to ensure compliance with ACA obligations. The DOL released a model notice for employers that do not offer a health plan and another model notice for employers that offer a health plan to some or all of their employees. An employer may use either one of the model notices or a modified version of a notice as long as the modified notice meets the prescribed requirements under the ACA.

The DOL had issued previous guidance delaying the notice requirement to late summer or early fall of 2013 to coordinate with the open enrollment period for exchanges. According to the DOL, it issued this temporary guidance based on requests from employers to receive the model notice earlier than late summer or early fall.

In conjunction with this guidance, the DOL released a revised COBRA model election notice. The revised notice includes information on the health insurance exchanges so that qualified beneficiaries are aware of the coverage options available in the marketplace. The DOL also made a redline version of the notice available showing the changes made.

Additional Resources

Health Care Reform Resource Center

Employee Benefits > Health Care Continuation (COBRA)