Affordable Health Care Act Update
Full implementation of the Affordable Health Care Act is getting closer as the calendar progresses. The Act went into effect on March 23, 2010, and was confirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court on June 28, 2012. Several important provisions such as coverage of adult children to age 26, elimination of lifetime exclusions, prohibition on pre-existing conditions for children, and access to OB/GYN for women, have already gone into effect.
Beginning October 1, 2013, all employers must provide a notice of marketplace options to their employees explaining the health insurance marketplace (aka “exchange”). Every state must have a marketplace functional by that date, and, since Kansas did not choose to develop a state-operated marketplace, a federal site must be functioning. The notice is intended to explain important information about the advantages and disadvantages of buying health insurance through the marketplace.
The responsibility for giving the Marketplace Notice is that of the employer, not the insurance company. The notice must be provided to all employees, both full-time and part-time, without regard to eligibility status for the health plan. The U.S. Department of Labor has developed two versions of the Marketplace Notice which are available on the website (www.dol.gov/ebsa/healthreform/
). The Notice must be in writing in a manner calculated to be understood by the average employee, either in writing or electronically if certain requirements are met.
As of January 1, 2014, all of the substantive requirements of the Act must be in place, with the exception of the Free Rider Penalty which applies to large employers and has been postponed for full implementation until January 1, 2015.
Find sample Marketplace Notices and more information under the Insurance/KJump section at www.kasb.org.
If you have any questions, please contact KASB Assistant Executive Director for Insurance, David Shriver at email@example.com