Important update for businesses: October 1, 2013 – you can still comply
If you have missed the deadline, you can still benefit from the grace period. The open enrollment begins from Oct1 and continues through March 31 2014. Failing to notify during this period may cause employees to not able to purchase coverage from the marketplace. All such employees then become eligible to claim damages from the employer. But you should act immediately – any further delay increases the risk for both your business and employees.
What is Affordable Care Act (ACA)?
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA or just ACA) is a federal statute that was signed into law in the United States by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010. ACA provides employees who are not offered health coverage by their employers with the option of purchasing health coverage through new health insurance marketplaces (also known as health insurance exchanges) that will operate in every state. ACA is also commonly referred as Obamacare.
What small businesses need to do for Obamacare?
The good news is that ACA does not force small businesses to offer health insurance coverage to employees. However, all businesses, regardless of their size, are required to notify their employees about the Obamacare marketplaces.
But I don't have any full-time employee so I'm not required to send ACA notice right?
No, ACA requires that all employees, regardless of their part-time or full-time status must be notified by the employer.
What if I fail to send ACA notification to my employees?
If you fail to notify about Obamacare marketplaces to your employees, your business will be penalized. The penalties could reach $100 per worker per day.
Update: As on Sep12 2012, Penalties have been waved off. However, the lack of penalties does not translate into a lack of consequences. Plan sponsors still have a fiduciary obligation to be forthcoming with plan participants and beneficiaries. Sending notification is still technically obligatory for businesses under the law (section 18B of FLSA). Failing to meet this requirement makes business non-compliant.
Also, if the employee does not receive the notice and he misses the open enrollment period on the marketplaces, he can later sue the employer for damages.
What is the deadline to notify about ACA marketplaces to employees?
It is October 1, 2013.
Note: If you have missed the deadline, you can still benefit from the grace period. The open enrollment begins from Oct1 and continues through March 31 2014. Failing to notify during this period may cause employees to not able to purchase coverage from the marketplace. All such employees then become eligible to claim damages from the employer.
Is there a special procedure to follow while sending ACA notification?
There are two ways:
- Prepare the notice as per the guidelines, print it out and mail it to your employees' valid address.
- Prepare the notice and send it electronically provided the requirements of electronic disclosure safe harbor are met.
What's the easiest way to have my business comply with ACA notice requirements?
The easiest way is to send the notice electronically by following the requirements for the same.
We have put together the right content and designed this process that meets the electronic disclosure guidelines required for sending ACA notice electronically. This includes:
- Government-approved notice templates customized as per your specific business details.
- Notice delivery tracking and reporting of bounces.
- Explicit notice acknowledgement by employees to help you be fully compliant.
- Automatic acknowledgement reminders to employees
Some of our happy customers
- RST Construction, Inc. (Texas)
- MagLibra Software Inc. (California)
- Pathway Connections, LLC (Illinois)
- California Shine All-Star Cheer (California)
- And many many more businesses spread all over the country, have already complied with ACA mandate, have you? Comply in next 5 minutes, that's all it will take!
In two easy steps you can have your business complied with Affordable Care Act 'notify to employees' mandate
- Provide only minimum information about your business (as required to prepare DOL-approved notice templates).
- Add/upload contact (only name&email) of employees – required to send notification to each one of them individually.
- Up to 5 notices: $1.7 per notice
- Up to 10 notices: $1 per notice
- Up to 25 notices: $0.90 per notice
- More than 25 notices: $0.75 per notice