The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has delayed the original March 1 deadline for employers to comply with the new requirement under Health Care Reform to provide employees a written notice explaining certain information related to Exchanges. The timing for distribution of the notices is now expected to be late summer or fall of 2013.
Notice Delayed Pending Further Guidance
The law originally contemplated that employers would need to begin providing the notice to new employees at the time of hire beginning on March 1, 2013, and to current employees not later than March 1. However, a new set of FAQs makes clear that employers are not required to comply until further guidance is issued.
Availability of Model Notice for Employers
The DOL is considering providing model, generic language that could be used to satisfy the notice requirement. As an alternative, employers may be allowed to comply by providing employees with information using an employer coverage template that would be available for download in connection with the application process for an Exchange, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Programs (CHIP).
Future guidance on complying with the notice requirement is expected to provide flexibility and adequate time to comply.