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The following article is from the 5/16/2013 issue of Federal Taxes Weekly Alert.
5/16/2013 -- Guidance on forthcoming required employer notice on health care coverage options
ERISA Technical Release 2013-02
The Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) has issued guidance about the written notice that certain employers must provide to employees beginning in October on health care coverage options.
Background. Beginning Jan. 1, 2014, individuals and employees of small businesses will have access to affordable health care coverage through a new competitive private health insurance market called the "Health Insurance Marketplace" (the Marketplace). The Marketplace offers "one-stop shopping" to find and compare private health insurance options. Open enrollment for health insurance coverage through the Marketplace begins on Oct. 1, 2013. Section 1512 of the Affordable Care Act created a new Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) section 18B that requires employers to provide written notice to employees about health insurance coverage options available through the Marketplace.
New guidance on notice requirement. The new EBSA guidance fleshes out the notice requirement as follows:
Model notice. There is model language for the notice on EBSA's website. There is one model for employers who do not offer a health plan, and another model for employers who offer a health plan to some or all employees. Employers may use one of these models, as applicable, or a modified version, provided the notice meets the content requirements in ERISA Technical Release 2013-02.
References: For low-income individuals allowed premium assistance credit after 2013 for health insurance purchased on Exchange, see FTC 2d/FIN ¶ A-4241; United States Tax Reporter ¶ 36B4; Tax Desk ¶ 138,650; Tax Guide ¶ 1381.
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