First ACA Deadlines Approaching Oct. 1
Oct. 1, 2013, will mark an important compliance deadline for small-business owners. That is the day all employers–regardless of business size or health insurance offer status–must provide all employees with a Notice of Health Insurance Marketplace Coverage Options document. There will be a form for businesses that do offer health insurance to employees and a form for businesses that do not offer coverage to employees. All new employees hired after Oct. 1 will have to be provided the Notice document within 14 days of an employee’s start date. Guidance on the Notice requirement was provided May 8.
Also on Oct. 1, open enrollment will begin for health insurance exchanges in each state. Every state will have two different health insurance exchanges–an individual exchange and a small-business exchange (SHOP). The individual exchange will be available for qualified individuals who do not have an offer of health insurance or whose offer of health insurance is deemed “unaffordable.” The small-business exchange (SHOP) will be available for qualified businesses with fewer than 50 employees. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently finalized a regulation that will only allow small businesses participating in the small-business exchange (SHOP) to enroll employees in one health insurance plan. Other health insurance plan offer arrangements will be delayed until 2015. Health insurance coverage within the exchanges will begin on Jan. 1, 2014.