On May 8 2013, the Department of Labor issued a technical release regarding the notice of health insurance exchanges that all employers must distribute to all employees during 2013, including model notices that employers may use to satisfy the notice obligation.

Healthcare-Questions_300x108Note: The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) now refers to the exchange as the “Health Insurance Marketplace.” The DOL refers to the notice as the “Employee Notice of Coverage Options.”

Employers must provide the notice to all full- and part-time employees by October 1, 2013 regardless of whether the employee is enrolled in an employer sponsored medical plan.

Employers must provide this notice even if they do not offer health insurance coverage. The notice does not have to be provided to dependents.

Also starting October 1, 2013, new employees must receive the notice at the time of their hire.

For 2014, the DOL will consider a notice to be timely provided at hire if it is provided within 14 days of the employee’s start date.

The notice must be provided in writing in a manner that will ensure all employees receive a copy. This applies to all businesses regardless of size and all employees regardless of participation in your health plan.

It can be delivered by hand, payroll insert, first-class mail, or electronically if the ERISA standards for electronic delivery are met as explained in the technical release.

Model Notices

The Department of Labor has provided a three-page model notice that employers may use.

We have confirmed with the DOL that simply providing your employees the first page of the model notice will satisfy your obligation.

To help you meet your obligation, here is the first page of the model notice. (Get the Spanish version here.)

There is one piece of information you should add to the notice. In the text field provided at the end of the page following “How Can I Get More Information?” add the appropriate contact name from your company.

You may choose to provide the three-page notice to your employees.

  • The first model notice applies to employers who offer a health plan to some or all employees. (Get Spanish version here.)
  • The second model notice applies to employers who do not offer a health plan. (Get Spanish version here.)

Employers are permitted to modify the model notices as long as they still meet the content requirements specified in the technical release.

More Information

 HC_Audio_SYMBOLListen: What Must Be Covered in the Notice of Exchange?