Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), commonly referred to as “Obamacare,” as of October 1, 2013, all employers with at least $500,000 of yearly revenue must provide their employees with written notice of their rights to access the new online health insurance marketplaces.This notice must be provided to all employees, regardless of whether or not the employer offers a health insurance program.

Specifically, these notices must notify employees:

  • About the health insurance marketplace;
  • That, depending on their income and what coverage may be offered by the employer, they may be able to get lower cost private insurance in the Marketplace; and
  • That if they buy insurance through the Marketplace, they may lose the employer contribution (if any) to their health benefits.

This notice must be provided, without cost, to all employees, regardless of plan-enrollment or employment status by October 1, 2013. Additionally, employers must provide this written notice to all new employees within fourteen (14) days of the employee’s start date. The notice must be provided in writing, and may be delivered in-person, by first class mail, or electronically.

The United States Department of Labor has provided model notices which may be used by employers to comply with the new requirement. The US Department of Labor has provided two separate notices: one designed for employers that do not offer a health insurance plan and one designed for employers that offer a health insurance plan to some or all of their employees. These model notices can be accessed on the US Department of Labor’s website, located here.

Although the PPACA does not contain penalties or fines to employers who fail to provide this notice, violations of the requirement could trigger investigations by several federal departments including the US Department of Labor and the US Department of Health and Human Services. Should you have any questions about this or any requirement of Obamacare, please contact the experienced business attorneys at Richard L. Robertson and Associates, P.A.