All Employers must notify employees of Health Insurance Exchanges by October 1

ACA Oct. 1


To comply with the Affordable Care Act, all employers are required to notify their employees of the coverage options available through the Health Insurance Exchanges (Marketplaces) by October 1, 2013. Originally, employers were required to notify employees by March 1, 2013; however, the provi­sion was delayed in January. In mid-May, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) established the notice deadline that was postponed earlier—mandating all employers to provide notice to their employees by October 1. As well, the DOL has issued new guidance on the notice to employees on health insurance coverage through the Marketplace.

All employers subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which is most employers, must provide notice to all current employees, regardless of part-time or full-time status, by October 1, 2013. For employees hired after this date, the information is to be provided at time of hire. Employers are not required to provide a separate notice to dependents. The notice needs to:

  • Inform employees about the existence of the Marketplace including a description of the services provided by the Marketplace, and how employees may contact the Marketplace for assistance.
  • Notify employees that if their company’s health insurance plan does not offer minimum essential coverage (covers less than 60 percent of costs), that the employee may be eligible for a premium tax credit through the Marketplace (small employers are exempt from the mandate to provide coverage but must still provide this notice).
  • If the employee purchases a qualified health plan through the Marketplace, the employee may lose the employer contribution (if any) to any health benefits plan offered by the employer and that all or a portion of such contribution may be excludable from income for Federal income tax purposes.


The DOL has released two model notices on their website:

  1. for employers not offering a group health plan (
  2. for employers offering a group health plan (

Employers may use these sample notices or provide their own, ensuring it meets requirements listed above.

Read more about the Affordable Care Act