Wednesday, November 20, 2013

ACA (ObamaCare) email requirements for employers and employees

Posted by Paul Babicki
Netiquette IQ

The following are basic rules for using email regarding ACA (ObamaCare). If employees see any violation of these rules they should notify ACA right away.


Employee Notification of Coverage Options

by AHAP on September 10, 2013

The FLSA governs email requirements for Affordable Care Act notification of coverageoptions. Most employers producing more than $500,000 in revenue must meet the provision of the health care law which will be enforced by the DOL. These employers may email the employee notification of coverage if they follow safe harbor rules for disclosure of benefit information communications via electronic media.  
A common sense approach should be used if employers choose to email ACA employee notices. The email requirements have been in place for years to create some guidance for benefit plan administrators. The employee notification of coverage options fall under the same umbrella. Employers should follow these guidelines to ensure their employees access the information.

  1.  Email addresses – Employees must provide employers email addresses voluntarily to receive benefit information.

2.   Verification of Receipt – Employers should use email features to verify the information has been received. Common email features include read receipts, and undeliverable notifications.

3.   Language – Email language must be written so the average employee will be able to understand the information provided.

4.   Email Format – Information disclosed should be in a format that the average employee can open to access the information. An example would be if the notification was sent in a PDF file, then all employees should have a PDF reader so they can access the document.

5.   Verification – Employers should periodically survey their employees to ensure electronic communications are received by employees.

Emailing Affordable Care Act notification of coverage options simply need to get to the employee. Current employees must receive it by October 1st, 2013. All new employees hired after October 1st, 2013 must receive the notice. The Department of labor will just want to see the employer has done the due diligence to ensure receipt of coverage notices.

Emailing ACA notifications are one of many things employers will have to navigate in 2014 as the health care law is implemented. The employer notification is informing employee of access to the health insurance exchanges. Employees will be able to enroll in state health insurance exchanges October 1st 2013. Individuals will be able to purchase required health insurance to avoid individual mandate penalties in 2014.  Qualifying large employers will begin to decide if they will offer health insurance in 2015 to avoid Affordable Care Act employer mandate penalties.


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