Important Health Care Reform Deadline-

By October 1, 2013, virtually all US employers (regardless of size or whether the employer offers a health plan) are required to distribute a Notice of Exchanges and Subsidies to each employee (regardless of part-time, temporary, full-time or health plan enrollment status). Also, beginning on October 1, 2013, this notice must be provided to each new employee within 14 days of the employee’s start date. There are two model notices available, one for employers that offer a company-sponsored health plan to some or all employees, and one for organizations that do not offer an employer-sponsored health insurance plan. Both of these model notices are available for download in the HR Support Center “Essentials” tab under the “HR Forms” section. (Simply type “Notice of Exchanges and Subsidies” in the Search Box.) There is also an FAQ document regarding this requirement housed in the same location.

The purpose of the Notice of Exchanges and Subsidies is to inform employees of the existence of Health Insurance Exchanges (also called Health Insurance Marketplaces) as well as potential federal subsidies available to them in 2014. Should an employee opt to shop in the Exchange, the employee may use this Notice provided by the employer to enter certain information on the application.

The Exchanges are government-provided virtual marketplaces intended to offer individuals and small groups “one-stop shopping” to find and compare private health insurance options. Open enrollment for health insurance coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplaces begins October 1, 2013 and coverage is available beginning on January 1, 2014.

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