Employers face a deadline to comply with a key section of the Affordable Care Act . Even though the so-called employer mandate was pushed back to January 1st, 2015, employers must let their employees know about health care options by October 1st.
"This notice is very important," said Jeannie O'Malley, a compliance officer with the Alliance Insurance Group in Montgomery, which is advising hundreds of employers about the requirements of the law. "It has to contain specific information about exchange coverage. It has to contain specific information about the employer plan. Or whether they intended to offer a plan or not."
That's because all individuals must have health insurance by January 1st, 2014. While employers with more than 50 full-time or equivalent employees are not required to provide coverage until the new deadline, some employers are already restructuring their workforce to limit exposure.
"What we're seeing now is employers, especially small employers, looking at their workforce, looking at what the average salary is and seeing where they fall," said Ashley Aaron, Senior Vice-President and Agency Director with Charter HR, a professional employer organization. "It might be better for some smaller employers not to offer insurance."
Many workers may qualify for subsidies to buy insurance from exchanges, as long as their employer doesn't offer a plan, or alternatively doesn't offer a plan that meets a minimum value standard or is not affordable. In those cases, an individual would not be eligible for subsidies.
More information about the Affordable Care Act, may be found here.
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