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BenefitsLink Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

Supplement to
September 4, 2013
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Supplement to September 4, 2013

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[Official Guidance]

Text of DOL ACA FAQs XVI: Entities Other Than Employer May Send October 1 Notice of Coverage Options to Employees; Details on 90-day Waiting Period Limitation
"Is it permissible for another entity (such as an issuer, multiemployer plan, or third-party administrator) to send the Notice of Coverage Options on behalf of an employer to satisfy the employer's obligations under FLSA section 18B? Yes, an employer will have satisfied its obligation to provide the notice with respect to an individual if another party provides a timely and complete notice. The Department of Labor notes that, as explained in Technical Release 2013-02, FLSA section 18B requires employers to provide notice to all employees, regardless of whether an employee is enrolled in, or eligible for, coverage under a group health plan. Accordingly, an employer is not relieved of its statutory obligation to provide notice under FLSA section 18B if another entity sends the notice to only participants enrolled in the plan, if some employees are not enrolled in the plan. When providing notices on behalf of employers, multiemployer plans, issuers, and third party administrators should take proper steps to ensure that a notice is provided to all employees regardless of plan enrollment, or communicate clearly to employers that the plan, issuer, or third party administrator will provide notice only to a subset of employees (e.g., employees enrolled in the plan) and advise of the residual obligations of employers with respect to other employees (e.g., employees who are not enrolled in the plan).... Will the Departments be issuing final regulations under PHS Act section 2708 that give plans and issuers sufficient time to comply with the waiting period limitation? Yes. As stated in the proposed rules, plans and issuers can rely on guidance provided in the March 2013 proposed rules at least through 2014. To the extent final regulations are more restrictive on plans or issuers than the proposed regulations, they will not be effective prior to January 1, 2015 and the Departments expect they will give plans and issuers sufficient time to comply." (U.S. Department of Labor)  

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