As you may know, the health care law - the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) - requires most individuals (including children and other dependents) to carry health insurance, beginning January 1, 2014. The law also requires the establishment of a health insurance exchange in all states by October 1, 2013. The goal is that exchanges, working with private insurers, will act as a marketplace and provide "one-stop shopping" for individuals and families who may need health insurance or who seek less expensive coverage. A companion program - the Small Business Health Options Program or SHOP Exchange - will assist small businesses that want to offer insurance to their employees.
PPACA amended the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to require that employers provide each employee with notice about the exchanges. The notice requirement applies to employers that employ one or more employees who are engaged in, or produce goods for, interstate commerce. An employer must have at least $500,000 in business annually. The notice requirement also applies to hospitals, schools, and government agencies.
Employers must provide notice to their existing employees by October 1, 2013, and must provide notice to new employees hired on or after October 1, 2013. Each employee must receive notice, regardless of the employee's health plan enrollment status and part- or full-time employment status. Notice may be provided in writing or electronically under the Department of Labor's electronic disclosure rules.
The notice must inform the employee:
- Of the existence of the exchange, the services provided by the exchange, and contact information for the exchange.
- That he or she may be eligible for a premium tax credit under the Internal Revenue Code if (a) the employer pays less than 60 percent of the cost of health insurance offered by the employee; and (b) the employee purchases health insurance through the exchange.
- That an employee who purchases health insurance through an exchange may lose the employer's (tax-free) contribution to the cost of health insurance offered by the employer.
To satisfy this notice requirement, the Department of Labor has provided model notices on its website, at http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/healthreform/. The website provides one model for employers who offer a health plan to some or all of their employees, and another model for employers who do not offer a health plan. Employers may modify the notice, as long as it meets the content requirements described above.
If you have questions about this requirement or want help to comply with the requirement, please contact our office at 757-625-4700.
WALL, EINHORN & CHERNITZER, P.C.
Nancy J. Hall, CPA
About Wall, Einhorn & Chernitzer, P.C.
Wall, Einhorn & Chernitzer, P.C. (WEC) offers a local touch with regional scope and national resources. Serving clients since 1989, we are today the largest public accounting firm headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia and the second largest in the Hampton Roads region. Our team is comprised of professionals who are committed to a common vision as a high performance firm and a common goal to provide our clients with exceptional service.
WEC is an independently owned and operated member firm of CPAmerican International, one of the largest associations of CPA firms in the United States. Through our affiliation, we have instant access to the expertise and resources of more than 2,500 professionals across America. WEC clients benefit from the resources, experience and professional knowledge base of a national firm while still receiving the personalized service and attention that only a locally-owned, independent accounting firm can offer.
In addition to our Assurance and Tax services, WEC provides a range of Business Advisory services and solutions strategically customized to fit our clients' unique and individual needs. These services include Estate Planning, Entrepreneurial Services, Restructuring and Turnaround, Wealth Management, Business Valuation, Litigation and Dispute Consulting, Virtual Office Services, and Exit Planning. The expertise of our CPAs and Advisors spans a range of business sectors. Our specialized industry niches include: Real Estate, Retail, Franchise, Construction, Government Contracting, Manufacturing & Wholesale Distribution, Technology and Not-for-Profit.
We are honored that WEC has been named as one of the "Best Places to Work in Virginia" in 2012 and 2013 by Virginia Business magazine, one of the "Top 25 Best Places to Work in Hampton Roads" by Inside Business, named to their "Hall of Fame" in 2010, and listed among the "Best Firms to Work For" by Accounting Today.
For more information, please visit us at www.wec-cpa.com.