All employers are required to notify all current employees about the availability of federal market places (formerly called exchanges) by October 1, 2013.
You must notify employees hired between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31, 2013 at the time of hiring and for employees hired in 2014, within 14 days of hiring. While it isn't required by law, the Texas Restaurant Association encourages members to keep a record that they've notified their employees.
There is a great deal of confusion about the individual mandate and what exactly the market places (exchanges) are. We know you will want to sit down with your employees to give them as much information as possible as you provide them with the required notification. Here are the basics:
- All individuals are required to have health insurance for themselves and any minor children by January 2014 or face a penalty.
- Individuals who are not covered by employer plans can access health coverage through an online market place (exchange). Some states are creating these market places, but Texas is not. So all Texans seeking individual coverage will access the Federal market place.
- Individuals can access insurance through the Federal market place at HealthCare.gov. It is expected that the site will be open for enrollment by October 1.
- Individuals may be qualify for tax credits and/or reduced premiums based on their income level. That will be determined when they enter their information in the Federal market place.
Once your employees understand their responsibilities under the individual mandate, explain whether you as an employer have chosen to provide or not provide coverage. The provide them with the correct form to comply with the employee notification requirement and have them sign a form acknowledging that they've received the notification.
Department of Labor Notification for employers NOT offering coverage
Department of Labor Notification for employers OFFERING coverage
Once your employees receive the DOL notification, have them sign the Acknowledgement of Notification and keep that signed form in their employee file.
Acknowledgement of Notification
If you would like to manage your employee notification online, the National Restaurant Association developed an online Notification Tool that is available FREE to members to help you meet this requirement.
Which ever option you choose, you have until October 1 to comply.
Questions? Contact one of TRA's healthcare experts at 800-395-2872 or via email.