Employer Action Still Required Under the Affordable Care Act
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2012 (a/k/a/ Obamacare) was slated to impact employers of 50 or more employees January 2014. On July 2, 2013, the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced that it was postponing the effective date of the employer mandate until January 1, 2015.
However, all businesses must still provide notice to their employees by October 1, 2013, advising them of the existence of statewide Health Insurance Marketplaces which will permit individuals and employees of small businesses (with less than 50 full time equivalents) to access health insurance coverage through the aforesaid Marketplaces. Open enrollment begins October 1, 2013 for new enrollee coverage starting January 1, 2014. New employees hired after October 1, 2013 must receive notice within 14 days of hire. All notices must be provided in writing by hand, by first class mail or electronically subject to the requirements of 29 CFR 2520, 1046-1 (c). Proof of delivery, regardless of method of delivery, should be retained.
The question of whether an individual is an employee entitled to notice, or an independent contractor,not entitled to notice, will remain a challenge for employers. In determining independent contractor status, the government will use the “economic realities” test in which an individual will be considered an employee if economically dependent on the business for which s/he performs personal services. The form of notice to employees varies depending on whether an employer offers or does not offer health plans. Those employers not offering health plans may find the requisite notices at: http://www.dol.ogv/ebsa/pdf/flsawithoutplans.pdf
Those employers offering health plans may find the appropriate form at: http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/pdf/flsawithplans.pdf
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Jonathan D. Farrell, Esq. or Peter A. Schneider, Esq., co-chairmen of the Labor & Employment Group at Meltzer Lippe.
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