Recently we sent a letter to all practice owners informing them of their duty to provide notice to all employees of the healthcare exchange that will be starting in 2014. We have received some calls about this issue in relation to the requirement to notify employees by a letter sent through US mail (using a stamp). We cannot recommend to you how to inform your employees; we are just passing along the notice of the requirement to inform. If you have any questions about this issue, please feel free to contact us. The text of the letter that went to practice owners follows:
Dear Veterinary Practice Owner:
One of the requirements of the Affordable Care Act is that all employers (regardless of whether you provide health insurance or not to your practice team) must notify their employees by first class mail (stamp) of the Exchange that will start in 2014. Your notification must occur before October 1, 2013.
What is the Notice of Exchange?
Under the ACA, your notice must inform your employees of:
- The existence of the Exchange
- A description of the services provided by the Exchange
- How to contact the Exchange to request assistance
- The employee’s potential eligibility for subsidized coverage on the Exchange, if the employer-sponsored group health plan does not provide “minimum value” (i.e. the plan’s share of the total allowed costs of benefits provided under the plan is less than 60% of such costs)
- The fact that the employee may lose the employer contribution (if any) towards health coverage if the employee chooses to instead purchase individual coverage on the Exchange (policies on the Exchange are referred to as “qualified health plans” or “QHPs)
Following is a one-page form that you can use to send to your employees and that covers the criteria listed above. However, if your practice will be providing health coverage to your employees within the Exchange, it is advisable that you also include pages two and three with your notice.