The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) pushed back the deadline for employers to notify their workers that they can purchase medical benefits on health insurance exchanges.  The original deadline was March 1, 2013, and has now been moved to late summer or early fall 2013.  The DOL said it was aiming for a “smooth implementation process” that would balance the need to give employers sufficient time to comply with the desire that notices be distributed closer to the October 1, 2013 start of exchange enrollment.

In its announcement, the DOL said it might provide “generic language” that employers could distribute to satisfy the notice requirement.  Alternatively, the DOL said it might allow use of a template that was discussed in the proposed rules published in the Federal Register (See Volume 78, Number 14, Tuesday, January 22, 2013).

The notices are required to have three components:

  • The first will inform workers that exchanges exist, what benefits they offer and how they can get in touch with an exchange.
  • The second must tell individuals they might qualify for tax credits to subsidize purchase of insurance on exchanges if their company health plan covers less than 60 percent of costs. However, a minimum value calculator hasn’t yet been released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Internal Revenue Service.
  • The third will let individuals know that if they buy medical coverage through an exchange, they could lose the employer's contribution to the employer's group medical plan.