Auto-Enrollment and Notifications (51+ Employees)

  • Does the ACA allow for automatic enrollment? 

    There is a provision within the ACA related to automatic enrollment for groups with 200 or more full time employees. Proposed rules have not been released and the Department of Labor (DOL) has issued the following statement:

    “The DOL …,does not intend to require employers to comply with the automatic enrollment provisions until after it publishes regulations and those regulations become applicable, and has indicated that regulations will not take effect by 2014.”

    Am I required to notify my employees about ACA provisions? 

    Although there is currently no penalty for not complying in 2013, provisions under the Affordable Care Act generally provide that an applicable employer must provide each employee at the time of hiring (or with respect to current employees, not later than October 1, 2013), a written notice:

    1. Informing the employee of the existence of the Marketplace (referred to in the statute as the Exchange) including a description of the services provided by the Marketplace, and the manner in which the employee may contact the Marketplace to request assistance;
    2. If the employer plan's share of the total allowed costs of benefits provided under the plan is less than 60 percent of such costs, that the employee may be eligible for a premium tax credit under section 36B of the Internal Revenue Code (the Code) if the employee purchases a qualified health plan through the Marketplace; and
    3. If the employee purchases a qualified health plan through the Marketplace, the employee may lose the employer contribution (if any) to any health benefits plan offered by the employer and that all or a portion of such contribution may be excludable from income for Federal income tax purposes.

    Employers can determine if they are required to comply with FLSA using the tool provided.

    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. Employers are not required to provide a separate notice to dependents or other individuals who are or may become eligible for coverage under the plan but who are not employees.

    Timing and Delivery of Notice 

    Employers are required to provide the notice to each new employee at the time of hiring beginning October 1, 2013. For 2014, the Department will consider a notice to be provided at the time of hiring if the notice is provided within 14 days of an employee’s start date. With respect to employees who are current employees before October 1, 2013, employers are required to provide the notice not later than October 1, 2013. The notice is required to be provided automatically, free of charge.

    The notice must be provided in writing in a manner calculated to be understood by the average employee. It may be provided by first-class mail. Alternatively, it may be provided electronically if the requirements of the Department of Labor’s electronic disclosure safe harbor at 29 CFR 2520.104b-1(c) are met.