Employers are required to provide by today, October 1, a written notice of healthcare options to all current employees, as required by sections of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (new employees must be notified by their hire date). Regardless of size or whether a company provides employees with health insurance or is required to provide it, every employer must provide written notice that communicates the following:
- Informs the employee of the existence of the health insurance marketplace (referred to in the statute as the Exchange) including a description of the services provided by the marketplace, and the manner in which the employee may contact the marketplace to request assistance;
- If the employer plan’s share of the total allowed costs of benefits provided under the plan is less than 60 percent of such costs, that the employee may be eligible for a premium tax credit under section 36B of the Internal Revenue Code (the code) if the employee purchases a qualified health plan through the marketplace;
- If the employee purchases a qualified health plan through the marketplace, the employee may lose the employer contribution (if any) to any health benefits plan offered by the employer and that all or a portion of such contribution may be excludable from income for federal income tax purposes.
Access the U.S. Department of Labor site for guidance.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is also hosting a series of free webinars on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act this month. The webinars examine the law and what it means for small businesses and their employees. More information on the webinars and registration can be found on the SBA’s website.