Updated Health Exchange Notice February 1, 2013

Updated Health Exchange Notice February 1, 2013

Last week we had sent out information to you on the exchange notice timeline.  We alluded to the fact that DOL wouldn’t elaborate on a possible delay in the deadline for groups to comply with sending out the notification, but there was the possibility.  We have now received a notice that in fact this has been delayed.  Here is what was sent to us about the delay on the health insurance exchanges.

Employers will not be required to comply with the March 1st, 2013 deadline for providing employees with a notice of coverage options available through health insurance exchanges, as required by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Department of Labor (DOL) announced on January 24th.  The DOL has concluded that the notice requirement will not take effect on March 1st because the notice should be coordinated with the Department of Health and Human Services educational efforts and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance on minimum value.  In addition, the DOL says that it wants to give employers enough time to comply and select an applicability date that ensures that employees receive the information at a meaningful time.  The DOL expects that the timing for distribution of notices will be late summer or fall 2013, which will coordinate with the open enrollment period for health care exchanges.

The DOL is considering providing model, generic language that could be used to satisfy the notice requirement.  As a compliance alternative, it is also considering allowing employers to satisfy the notice requirement by providing employees with information using an employer coverage template which will be available for download at the exchange website as part of the streamlined application that will be used by the exchange.  The DOL said it expects future guidance on complying with the notice requirement to provide flexibility and adequate time to comply.

Again, no matter what happens, BPA will send out a broadcast email to our brokers and clients as soon as the notice is released and will post the notice on the BPA website.