ACA update: Small businesses must inform employees of health coverage options
Oct. 1 deadline nears; model notices linked in story
Many family physicians in Texas are small business owners, so it’s plausible that like the majority of their colleagues in other industries, they don’t know about a looming new obligation they have thanks to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Small business owners must notify employees of health insurance coverage options under the ACA by Oct. 1, 2013, or they could face a fine of $100 per worker per day.
Business owners with fewer than 50 full-time employees won’t be required to offer health coverage to their workers, but they must provide notice of the health coverage options available to them. The notice must be provided to each new employee at the time of hiring and to existing employees before Oct. 1, 2013, according to a technical guidance document from the U.S. Department of Labor.
The notice must inform employees about the new health insurance marketplace, and that they may be eligible for premium assistance if they purchase coverage through the marketplace. It also must explain that employees choosing to purchase coverage in the marketplace may lose any employer contribution to health insurance they currently receive.
The Department of Labor has published a model notice for employers who do not offer health coverage and a model notice for employers who do offer coverage.
For a list of key provisions of the Affordable Care Act for employers with fewer than 25 employees, go to: www.sba.gov/content/employers-with-fewer-25-employees