October Mandatory Employee Notice Deadlines

Jody Lee, Compliance Manager, Johnson & Dugan
The Department of Labor (DOL), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) require plan administrators and/or insurers to provide certain information related to their health and welfare benefit plans to plan participants either at time of hire, upon benefit plan eligibility or on an annual basis.
Two mandatory employer notice deadlines are coming up in October: the PPACA Health Insurance Marketplace Notice due
by October 1st and the Medicare Part D Notice of Creditable Coverage due by October 15th.
The Health Insurance Marketplace Notice is required as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), and model notices are available on the DOL website in English and Spanish. There are two versions of the notice, one for employers with plans and one for employers without plans. Some customization is required to the notice for employers with plans. All employers subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulations must distribute a notice. After distribution to the existing employee population by October 1st, new hires must be provided with the notice within 14 days of their hire. Additional guidance is available in the DOL Technical Release No. 2013-02.

Medicare Prescription Drug legislation (Medicare Part D) includes a notice requirement to Medicare-eligible employees. This includes employees on group health plans (including COBRA participants and individuals on leave of absence). These individuals must be advised whether or not the prescription coverage through their employer-sponsored health plan is “creditable”, which means the actuarial value meets or exceeds the actuarial value of standard prescription drug coverage under Medicare Part D. The CMS website has posted model Notices
of Creditable Coverage
in English and Spanish to communicate the employer plan’s creditable status. Additional information is available on the CMS website.
We recommend that you distribute the creditable coverage notice to all employees rather than attempt to determine which employees and dependents are eligible and should receive the information. This will also ensure that prior notice is provided to anyone becoming Medicare eligible prior to the next annual notice.
Both of these notices can be distributed in hard copy, or sent electronically. If sent electronically, the notices must be provided using “measures
reasonably calculated to ensure actual receipt of the material” by following the DOL electronic delivery requirements.
All Johnson & Dugan clients have been provided with the notices and instructions for distribution. Contact your Johnson & Dugan team if you have any questions about the notice distribution requirements.
This memo is a summary only and
should not be interpreted as legal advice