Workforce.com

Employers' Deadline to Inform Employees of Health Exchanges and Cost-Sharing Plans Extended

The March 1 deadline for businesses to notify employees of their benefits cost-sharing plans and government-run health insurance exchanges has been postponed. A new deadline is expected by fall.

January 30, 2013

The March 1 deadline for businesses to notify employees of health care cost-sharing plans and health insurance exchanges available under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has been pushed back, according to a frequently asked question page posted by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

The fact sheet states a new official deadline has not been set, but employers should expect it to be sometime in late summer or fall.

Under health care reform, employers are required to provide employees a written notice of coverage options available through the Affordable Care Act. The written notice also must include information from the company explaining how much of the total cost of its employer-offered health plan it will pay. If that number is less than 60 percent of the total cost, employees may be eligible to receive a premium tax credit to purchase a qualified health plan through an exchange established under health care reform act, according to the CMS' FAQ page.

The U.S. Labor Department is considering releasing "model, generic language" to employers as an example for the written notifications they will be required to distribute later this year, according to the fact sheet.

The March 1 deadline has been postponed to allow for a smoother transition to the government-run exchanges, and so the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Internal Revenue Service will be able to provide employers with more education and guidance on how to compose the written notifications, the fact page states.

Max Mihelich is Workforce's editorial intern. Comment below or email editors@workforce.com.