Affordable Care Act and FLSA Requirement – What you need to know

Now that open enrollment for 2014 health care coverage has kicked off, you may have many questions as an employer regarding the Affordable Care Act (ACA) provisions. And you are definitely not alone as we are all learning daily about the new requirements and deadlines. If you have specific questions about ACA and how it may impact your organization when it comes to benefits and HR processes, give us a call (206.463.3110). In the meantime we will continue to post information here and on Twitter highlighting aspects we think our readers and clients will find beneficial.

Speaking of which, last month the U.S. Department of Labor released a FAQ regarding the FLSA requirement that all employers give notice to employees about the ACA’s new Health Insurance Marketplace. The U.S. Department of Labor learned quickly that many employers had questions regarding this requirement as the FLSA can be interpreted very broadly making it difficult to know for sure whether an organization is in compliance or not. It also wasn’t clear whether the lack of compliance could result in a fine – another key aspect to take into consideration as organizations communicate information to their employees regarding all the new changes.

This is what you need to know when it comes to ACA and FLSA (as stated by the DOL) as well as the documents you may require. Please note that the deadline for this requirement was October 1st, so if you haven’t already, you will want to make this a priority. The good news is, you will not be fined but it is important that you take the necessary measures to remain compliant with federal and state laws.

We’d like to hear from you!

What are you doing in your organization to help stay abreast of all the ACA requirements and deadlines?

Do you have a diligent HR department, an informative benefits broker, an internal task force or all of the above?

Q: Can an employer be fined for failing to provide employees with notice about the Affordable Care Act’s new Health Insurance Marketplace?

A: No. If your company is covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act, it should provide a written notice to its employees about the Health Insurance Marketplace by October 1, 2013, but there is no fine or penalty under the law for failing to provide the notice.
The notice should inform 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

The U.S. Department of Labor has two model notices to help employers comply. There is one model for employers who do not offer a health plan and another model for employers who offer a health plan or some or all employees:

The model notices are also available in Spanish and MS Word format at http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/healthreform/.

Employers may use one of these models, as applicable, or a modified version. More compliance assistance information is available in a Technical Release issued by the US Department of Labor.

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