What is the Affordable Care Act?
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), commonly called Obamacare or the Affordable Care Act (ACA), is a US federal statute signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010. Together with the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act, it represents the most significant regulatory overhaul of the country’s healthcare system since the passage of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965.
ACA’s main purpose is to increase the quality and affordability of health insurance, lower the uninsured rate by expanding public and private insurance coverage, and reduce the costs of health care for individuals.
The ACA includes numerous provisions that take effect between 2010 and 2020. You can read more about the Act here.
Marketplace notice that must be sent out by October 1, 2013
In May 2013, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued temporary guidance regarding the employer’s responsibility to notify employees of the Marketplace by October 1, 2013 under the ACA. On September 11, 2013, the Department of Labor issued an FAQ stating there is no penalty or fine under the law for failing to provide the notice to employees by October 1, 2013.
However, even though there will be no penalty or fine under the law, we still recommend that you send the notice to employees as the notice is required in the ACA. If you don’t distribute the notice timely, it may trigger an audit or other Departments (Treasury or Health and Human Services) may take enforcement action.
All employers subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), even if they do not offer health insurance coverage, are to provide the Marketplace notice to all employees by October 1, 2013. The guidance requires these employers provide the notice to all employees regardless of plan enrollment, eligibility status or of part-time or full-time status. The U.S. Department of Labor has two model notices to help employers comply: one model is for employers who do not offer a health plan, and the other is for employers who offer a health plan for some or all employees. Click here to read more about the two models.
Kelly Wells is a Senior Human Resources Consultant at vhr. Should you have questions about the ACA please contact any of the human resources consultants at vhr, or Liz Hocker, vhr Managing Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.