The Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) has given employers a government-approved document that they can use to tell workers about the new health insurance exchange system today, before final guidance comes out.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA) requires the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to work with states to set up exchanges, or Web-based health insurance supermarkets, in all 50 states and the District of Columbia by Oct. 1.
PPACA Section 1512 added an employer exchange notice requirement — Section 18B of the Fair Standards Labor Act (FLSA).
FLSA Section 18B requires employers to start telling workers about the new exchange system by March 1, 2013.
In January, EBSA said it would push back the date when employer notice date, because federal agencies needed more time to work out exchange details.
Since January, the Labor Department “has received several requests from employers for a model notice on an earlier timeframe so that they may be able to inform their employees now about the upcoming coverage options,” EBSA officials said in the new technical release.
Employers can use notices based on the new, temporary model notice to tell workers about the exchange system up until Oct. 1, officials said.
For employers that provide medical benefits, the model notice includes a one-page description of the exchange program along with a two-page form that a worker could use to start the process of gathering the information that would be needed to apply for coverage through an exchange.