By October 1, 2013, employers must provide Health Insurance Marketplace Notices to all current employees (part-time and full-time), regardless of whether they are eligible for or enrolled in the employer’s health plan. In addition, Marketplace Notices must be provided to all new employees within 14 days of hire. The purpose of the Notice is to advise employees about the state healthcare exchanges (also referred to as the “Marketplace”), which are to be available as of January 1, 2014.

The Department of Labor (DOL) has issued a model Marketplace Notice, available on the DOL’s website www.dol.gov/ebsa/healthreform, that can be used by employers to satisfy the requirement.

Employers may distribute the Marketplace Notices to employees via first-class mail or electronically to employees who use email as part of their daily duties (or have otherwise consented to electronic distribution of employer notices), as per the DOL’s electronic disclosure rules.

COBRA Election Notices must also be modified to make qualified beneficiaries aware of the coverage options available in the Marketplace. The DOL has updated its model COBRA Election Notice, also available at www.dol.gov/ebsa/healthreform, for this purpose.