Health Care Exchanges Launched Oct. 1

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Health Care Exchanges Launched October 1; Government Shutdown Doesn’t Stop Implementation

October 1, marked the launch of the federal and state health insurance exchanges under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). The exchanges are now live for individuals. Employers should be aware of the following important updates:

  1. The government shutdown is not affecting the launch of the health insurance exchanges.
  2. The Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) will be delayed until November.
  3. The effective date of coverage will be January 1, 2014 for those small business employers (with fewer than 50 employees) and employees who enroll in the exchanges by December 15th, however, small business employers and employees can enroll in the exchanges by March 31st to receive coverage in 2014.
  4. Organizations subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) were required to provide all employees notices describing the health care exchanges by today, October 1, however the Department of Labor (DOL) said that no penalty will be imposed on employers that fail to provide exchange notices to employees.
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