Even though the Obama Administration delayed implementation of the employer health coverage mandate under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Affordable Care Act) until January 15, 2015, employers must still let their employees know about health care options by October 1st of this year.
All employers who are subject to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) must comply with this notice requirement. In general, the FLSA applies to employers that employ one or more employees who are engaged in, or produce goods for, interstate commerce. For most employers, a test of not less than $500,000 in annual dollar volume of business applies. The FLSA also specifically covers the following entities:
- institutions primarily engaged in the care of the sick, the aged, mentally ill, or disabled who reside on the premises;
- schools for children who are mentally or physically disabled or gifted;
- preschools, elementary and secondary schools, and institutions of higher education; and
- federal, state, and local government agencies.
Employers must provide the notice to all current employees by October 1, 2013, and to each new employee hired on or after October 1, 2013 at the time of hire.
The U.S. Department of Labor has created model notices that employers may use in providing this notice. For employers who offer a health plan to some or all employees:
For employers who do not offer a health plan to employees:
The notice may be provided by first-class mail. It may also be provided electronically, but only if certain requirements are met.
The Affordable Care Act has a $100/day general “non-compliance” penalty for failing to comply with the notice requirement.