If you (or someone you know) has not yet purchased individual health insurance, good news is here: You may purchase California Health Insurance outside of the normal open enrollment period if you can qualify under the “Special Enrollment” events (some call these qualifying events).
This is an update to a previous Coverage California article, and focuses on some key points in distributing a special notice to employees i.e. the so-called Obamacare Healthcare Exchange disclosure notice omb no. 1210-0149, which was required by almost all employers by October 1, 2013. Don’t over look the fact that on an ongoing basis, it must be distributed to new employees in a timely manner e.g. 14 days. Read on….
Key Points For Small Business Employers (Technical Notice 2013-02)
Employers must provide a notice of coverage options to each employee, regardless of plan enrollment status (if applicable) or of part-time or full-time status. This means just about everybody:
- Current employees: Employers must provide this notice by October 1, 2013.
- New Hires: Employers are required to provide the notice to each new employee at the time of hiring beginning October 1, 2013.
- Timing: The notice should be provided within 14 days of an employee’s start date.
- Distribution Method: The notice may be provided by 1st class mail or it may provided electronically if the requirements of the Department of Labor’s electronic disclosure safe harbor at 29 CFR 2520.104b-1(c) are met.
Download Healthcare Exchange Notice OMB 1210-0149
- Employers with an existing health plan must use this form:
- Employers with no existing health plan must also comply, and would use this alternate plan.
- In Spanish (no existing health plan) and Spanish (existing health plan)español
What happens if you do not comply? Are there penalties for noncompliance with this healthcare exchange notice rule? On September 11, 2013 the Department of Labor EBSA website provided an update to answer this question. While the short answer is there is no specific DOL penalty fine (currently) for failing to comply, that is not to say California law will let you off the hook so easily. Play it safe and distribute the notice on time.
For additional employer requirements under the Affordable Care Act legislation click here. For rate comparisons of new group health plans, click here. For non-group e.g. individual family plans click this link.
Remember, Open Enrollment begins November 15th: Changes are coming to certain PPO networks. If you did not use a Certified Agent last year, now is a good time to find one…they are a free service of Covered California and are here to help.