Benefits alert: Health insurance exchange notice requirement postponed

March 1, 2013

If you didn’t provide employees with notice regarding the health insurance exchanges by March 1, you’re off the hook. The Department of Labor (DOL) has postponed this notice requirement until late summer or fall, which coincides with the exchanges’ open enrollment period. Such timing, the DOL concluded, would be more meaningful for employees.

Read the official word at

The original language of the Affordable Care Act health care reform law required employers to begin notifying employees on March 1 about the availability of state-based exchanges as an option for buying health insurance. The postponement acknowledges the obvious—that there’s not much to say about state exchanges until they’re closer to going live in October.

In addition, the delay gives time for notices to be coordinated with educational efforts by the Department of Health and Human Services and the IRS.

The DOL is considering several options for this notice. It could provide model language or allow you to provide employees with information using the employer coverage template, which will be part of the exchanges’ streamlined application. Either way, the DOL anticipates providing employers with flexibility and adequate time to comply with this notice requirement.