Regardless of your feelings about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a/k/a Obamacare, its provisions are slowly but surely being implemented and there is an approaching deadline that law firms need to know about.
Under the provisions of the ACA many employers are required to notify their employees by October 1, 2013 about the Health Insurance Marketplace. While this post is not legal advice and shouldn’t be taken as such, it is arguable that law firms are among those entities which are subject to the upcoming notification requirement. All law firms should undertake to determine whether this notification requirement applies to them.
Companies which are covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act must give their employees the following notifications by the October 1st deadline:
- Of the existence and purpose of the Health Insurance Marketplace;
- That under certain circumstances the employee may be eligible for a premium tax credit if the employee purchases a qualified health plan through the Marketplace; and
- That if the employee purchases insurance through the Marketplace he or she may lose the contribution that the employer currently makes to his or her health insurance costs and that all or a portion of such contribution may be excludable from income for Federal income tax purposes.
For more details on the notice requirements see Technical Release No. 2013-02 from the U.S. Department of Labor. To determine whether the Fair Labor Standards Act applies to your law firm or its employees, check out the Department of Labor’s Fair Labor Standards Act Advisor. There is also a page containing model notices for employers who currently offer a health plan and one for those who do not. The forms are in both PDF and MS Word format.