The Department of Labor (DOL) recently extended the expiration date on its model Exchange notices through May 31, 2020. These model notices (or a modified version)—which the DOL calls “Model Notices to Employees of Coverage Options”—may be used to comply with the Exchange notice requirement under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
What is the requirement?
The ACA requires all employers that are subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act to provide a written notice to their new employees about the ACA’s Health Insurance Exchanges (known as Exchanges or Marketplaces). The notice must be provided to all new hires within 14 days of the employee’s start date. However, there is no requirement to provide the Exchange notice to current or existing employees on an annual basis.
Extended Expiration Date
The content of the DOL’s model notices has not substantively changed, and the expiration date does not mean that the model notice is out-of-date or that employers should stop using it. The expiration date is included on the model notices largely as an administrative function for the DOL, and does not impact the notices’ applicability or an employer’s ability to use them. Employers can continue to use and rely on DOL model notices after the expiration date has passed.
The expiration date on the model notices refers to a federal process where agencies receive approval from the federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for certain information collections. Approved information collections must display an OMB control number and an expiration date, which is usually set three years from when the OMB grants approval. This means that federal agencies must periodically ask for an extension of OMB approval. Often, OMB approval is not received before the expiration date passes.
Although employers should provide an Exchange notice to their new hires, the DOL asserted in an FAQ that there is no fine or penalty under the ACA for failing to provide the notice. This means that employers cannot be fined for failing to provide employees with notice about the ACA’s Exchanges.
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