If your association has employees you should be aware of the October 1 deadline for notices under the Affordable Care Act.  Under the Affordable Care Act all covered employers must provide notice of insurance coverage options to their employees by October 1, 2013.  However, on September 11, 2013, the Department of Labor indicated that employers would not be fined if they failed to meet this deadline since most of the infrastructure for the Affordable Care Act has not been developed.  It is your choice, then, whether to meet the deadline or not. We recommend you do if possible.

But, first, are you a “covered” employer? If you have one or more employees who are engaged in or produce goods or services for interstate commerce you are covered.  If you have revenue of at least $500,000 you are covered. If you had revenue of at least $250,000 on March 31, 1990, you are covered.

If you are covered, the second question is then, what does the notice need to say? The notice must explain the coverage options of each employee regardless of whether they have participated in past plans and regardless of whether they are a full or part time employee.  The notice must inform employees about the new Health Insurance Marketplace as well as contact information and a description of the services provided by the Marketplace. It must also inform them of the possible eligibility for a premium tax credit and have a statement that if the employee purchases a qualified health plan through the Marketplace, the employee may lose the employer contribution, if any, to a health benefits plan. And, that all or a portion of such a contribution may be excludable for income for Federal income tax purposes.

This notice must be delivered to each existing employee by October 1, 2013, and to each new employee starting after October 1, 2013, within 14 days of their start date. We recommend that you have employees sign that they have received the notice.  The Act states that first-class mail is allowed, as is electronic notice IF it complies with the Department of Labor’s standards.

There are sample notices available for employers to use on the Department of Labor website.

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