A Wait at the Gate
For all those employers (all none of you) ready to race ahead and give notices to employees about health insurance exchanges, you are going to have to hold off for awhile. Despite the Affordable Care Act (aka “Obamacare”) requirement that employers provide written notice
(1) informing the employee of the existence of an Exchange, including a description of the services provided by such Exchange, and the manner in which the employee may contact the Exchange to request assistance;
(2) 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 of 1986 and a cost sharing reduction under section 18071 of Title 42 if the employee purchases a qualified health plan through the Exchange; and
(3) if the employee purchases a qualified health plan through the Exchange, and the employer does not offer a free choice voucher, 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.
The Department of Labor has postponed the March 1, 2013 deadline:
The Department of Labor has concluded that the notice requirement under FLSA section 18B will not take effect on March 1, 2013 for several reasons. First, this notice should be coordinated with HHS’s educational efforts and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance on minimum value. Second, we are committed to a smooth implementation process including providing employers with sufficient time to comply and selecting an applicability date that ensures that employees receive the information at a meaningful time. The Department of Labor expects that the timing for distribution of notices will be the late summer or fall of 2013, which will coordinate with the open enrollment period for Exchanges.