Following is an excerpt from a client advisory, “Important Affordable Care Act Deadline: Employee Notices of the Health Insurance Marketplace (Exchange) Due by October 1, 2013,” by Michelle Capezza and Gretchen Harders of Epstein Becker Green:
On May 8, 2013, the Employee Benefits Security Administration of the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued Technical Release No. 2013-02 (“Release”) providing important guidance under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (“Affordable Care Act”), with regard to the requirement that employers provide notices to their employees of the existence of the Health Insurance Marketplace (“Marketplace”), previously referred to as the “Exchange.” These employee notices must be provided to existing employees no later than October 1, 2013. This deadline is intended to correspond to the open enrollment period for the Marketplace commencing October 1, 2013, for coverage through the Marketplace beginning January 1, 2014. The Release includes temporary guidance and two model employee notices of the Marketplace upon which employers may rely. Additionally, the Release provides an updated model election notice for group health plans for purposes of the continuation coverage provisions under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (“COBRA”) to include information of the health coverage options offered to individuals through the Marketplace for comparative purposes.