February 1, 2013

Health Benefit Exchange Update

February 1, 2013
The deadline for employers to notify employees of the availability of Health Benefit Exchanges has been delayed from March 1, 2013, to late summer or fall of 2013.
The Department of Labor is considering providing model, generic language that could be used to satisfy the notice requirement. Future guidance on complying with the notice requirement under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) section 18B is expected to provide flexibility and adequate time to comply. Here is an excerpt from the new notice released Jan. 24, 2013:
The Department of Labor has concluded that the notice requirement under FLSA section 18B will not take effect on March 1, 2013 for several reasons.
First, this notice should be coordinated with HHS’s educational efforts and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance on minimum value.
Second, we are committed to a smooth implementation process including providing employers with sufficient time to comply and selecting an applicability date that ensures that employees receive the information at a meaningful time.
The Department of Labor expects that the timing for distribution of notices will be the late summer or fall of 2013, which will coordinate with the open enrollment period for Exchanges.