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Health Care Reform Update: Delay To Employee Notice Of Exchanges

Under the PPACA law, states should be working on developing health care exchanges. The exchanges will be a marketplace, providing health insurance coverage options to individuals and employees at companies where coverage isn’t available. Employees with access to employer-sponsored coverage will also be able to review these alternatives and compare the cost/benefits to their employer plans.

The law requires employers to provide notices to their employees of the available exchange options. This notice was to have been distributed to all new employees at the time of hire and by March 1, 2013, to existing employees – in other words, before next month.

No wonder employers and benefits consultants across the nation were relieved with the guidance provided by the Department of Labor recently. The notice requirement is now delayed until later this year, in part because the notice will rely on rules that aren’t yet complete.

This is still going to happen … just not right now.

The Department of Labor expects that the timing for notice distribution will be late summer or fall of 2013, which will coordinate with the open-enrollment period for exchanges. They are still contemplating providing a model notice and anticipate future rules will be issued with ample time to comply.

Are you relieved to hear this notice requirement has been delayed? Are you confident that you know what you need to do to remain compliant?