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January 25, 2013

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Department of Labor postpones health care notification deadline

Feds delay Affordable care act's March requirements until late summer, fall

On Thursday, the U.S. Dept. of Labor updated its website detailing key details and requirements included in the Affordable Care Act, delaying an anticipated deadline coming up in March.

“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 … 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.”

Previously, the law referenced employer requirements beginning March 1, involving providing employees with a “written notice” including the following:

  1. Notifying employees about the existence of the state health benefits exchange, Covered California, and how employees can contact the exchange for help.
  2. The employers intention to offer qualifying coverage – otherwise if no coverage is offered, or if the coverage does not meet qualifying requirements, then notice of the employees’ eligibility for a premium tax credit under section 36B of the Internal Revenue Code  if the employee purchases a qualified health plan through the state exchange.
  3. If the employee purchases a qualified health plan through an exchange, the employee may lose any employer contribution to a health benefits plan offered by the employer and that all or a portion of such contribution may be excludable from income for Federal income tax purposes.

The department indicated that more clarification would be disseminated in advance of the March 1 deadline, including sample language or template notification samples. Instead, the deadline has been delayed.


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