DOL Issues Formal Guidance for the Employee Notice of Coverage Options Perhaps one of the most important elements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) — the Health Insurance Exchange/Marketplace — will become available to individuals starting on January 1, 2014. The Department of Labor (DOL) requires employers to issue Marketplace Notices to existing employees by October 1, 2013. New employees hired on or after October 1, 2013, must be provided with a copy of the Marketplace Notice within 14 days of the date of hire. All employers, including those that do not sponsor a group health plan, must provide a form of the marketplace notice to ALL of their employees – including those who are not eligible for employer-sponsored group health plan coverage. Below are some answers to some of the frequently asked questions we’ve received regarding the Marketplace Notice. Who do we send the Marketplace Notice to? All employees must receive the Marketplace Notice, regardless of whether they are eligible to participate in the health plan (i.e., part-time employees) and regardless of whether they are enrolled in the plan. Separate Marketplace Notices are not required to be sent to spouses or dependent children. Marketplace Notices are not required to be sent to former employees, regardless of whether they are still covered by or eligible for coverage under the plan (i.e., COBRA coverage). How do we deliver the Marketplace Notice? The Marketplace Notice may sent by first-class mail. Marketplace Notices may be delivered by e-mail to those employees who access e-mail as an integral part of their duties. Guidance does not state that the Marketplace Notice must be included in a new hire package but we advise that this is an acceptable method of delivery for new hires. DOL has posted a sample notice, which serves as a useful example of what employers will be expected to share with their employees. DOL also has released a form for employers who do not offer coverage. Employers can begin using these forms, or create their own modified version, as long as the notice meets the DOL’snotification requirements. If you have questions regarding these notifications or require assistance in issuing compliant notifications to your employees, call us at 1.800.250.2741 or email email@example.com.