Stay informed and ready to meet both everyday challenges and long-term planning and policy-making goals, with focused news, practical information, and strategic insights on all HR-related developments.
Employers will not need to notify new and current employees of coverage available under the health insurance exchanges until regulations outlining the notification requirements are issued, according to the 11th set of frequently asked questions-and-answers on implementation of the Affordable Care Act, issued Jan. 24 by the Treasury Department and two other federal agencies.
The ACA added Section 18B to the Fair Labor Standards Act, requiring all employers subject to FLSA to notify current employees and new hires that they can obtain coverage through an exchange. The requirement was to go into effect March 1, 2013. However, “Section 18B of the FLSA provides that employer compliance with the notice requirements of that section must be carried out '[i]n accordance with regulations promulgated by the Secretary [of Labor],' ” and no such regulations have been released, the departments of Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services said in the FAQs.
Accordingly, “until such regulations are issued and become applicable, employers are not required to comply with FLSA section 18B,” the FAQs said.
The notices to employees should be distributed at a “meaningful time,” the agencies said, thus the departments expect the new applicability date will be in the late summer or fall, when open enrollment for the exchanges begins.
The FAQs also look at health reimbursement arrangements and their compliance with the Public Health Service Act.
ACA added Section 2711 of the PHSA, which “generally prohibits plans and issuers from imposing lifetime or annual limits on the dollar value of essential health benefits,” according to the FAQs. DOL interim final regulations implementing Section 2711 of the act differentiate between HRAs that are “integrated” with group health plan coverage and HRAs that are not integrated with coverage, also called “stand-alone” HRAs, the FAQs said.
According to the FAQs, an HRA “used to purchase coverage on the individual market” is not considered integrated with the coverage it purchased and therefore does not satisfy Section 2711 of the PHSA. The agencies plan to issue guidance stating that “an employer-sponsored HRA cannot be integrated with individual market coverage or with an employer plan that provides coverage through individual policies and therefore will violate PHS Act section 2711,” the FAQs said.
Additionally, an employer-provided HRA will only be treated as integrated with group health plan coverage if the employee in the HRA actually is enrolled in the health plan, not just if the employee is offered the coverage, the FAQs said. The departments also plan on issuing guidance on this topic, the FAQs said.
Other topics covered by the FAQs include self-insured employer prescription drug coverage supplementing Medicare Part D and fixed indemnity insurance.
Text of the FAQs is at http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/faqs/faq-aca11.html.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)