The government healthcare system opens soon. Do I need to do anything?
“I currently provide a medical insurance plan for my employees. A few employees are talking about going to the state exchange instead because they think it might be less expensive than their current share of the group premium. What, if anything, do I need to do?”
HR Survival Tip
All employers have a responsibility to provide the recently released “New Health Insurance Marketplace Coverage Options and Your Health Coverage Notice” to employees by October 1, 2013. There are 2 different versions of this form: one for companies that provide group health insurance and one for companies that do not.
As you know, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is bringing us government healthcare. It may be called the Marketplace but is also known as the Exchange so don’t let the terms confuse you. The sites (www.healthcare.gov and www.coveredca.com) are currently online and will accept applications after October1st.
The timing of this notice matches up with the “opening” of the Marketplace. The purpose is to give your employees information about your group plan, if any, so they can compare their current costs and benefits to what they can find online with the government plans. If you don’t offer a group health plan, the form gives your employees your company information and confirms you do not offer group health coverage.
Let the employees know they may be asked for information on the form so they should keep it until they decide if they will be applying for the government insurance plan. You can access the notice templates at my website by clicking the appropriate link below:
Once you have given the appropriate notice to your employees, add a copy to your new hire materials. Every new hire must receive this form within 14 days of his/her hire date.