Friday, August 30, 2013


Essentially all employers must notify all of their employees, regardless of those on a medical plan or not, of the existence of the Health Exchanges.  The Model Notice of Health Exchange is the Notification issued by the Department of Labor (or one that contains essentially the same information) that MUST be sent to ALL employees by 10-1-2013. There are three pages to the notification.  Page 2 needs to be completed by you prior to sending to your employees. The third page is optional.  All newly hired employees must be given the notification within 14 days of Hire.

Below please find the distribution and delivery requirements. 

Distribution Requirements

Any employer who is subject to the Fair Labor Standards ACT of 1938 is required to distribute the Exchange Notice to its employees. Employers who do not currently offer health care coverage to their employees and/or are not subject to the Employer Mandate under the ACA are not exempt from this notification requirement.

ALL employees must be provided with an Exchange Notice, including employees who are not eligible to enroll in employer-sponsored benefits. A few exceptions do apply. A notice does not need to be issued to:
  • Spouses and dependent children covered under an employer’s plan,
  • COBRA participants, and
  • Retirees (even if they are enrolled in an employer-sponsored health plan).

When it comes to getting the Exchange Notice into the hands of employees, the updated guidance provides employers with two options: 1) First Class Mail and 2) Electronic Distribution. You may choose one option for all employees or a combination of both (depending on your employee population). Please note that electronic distribution is only permissible if the following DOL regulations are satisfied:
  • Access to the electronic delivery system is an integral part of the employees’ work duties.
  • A statement regarding the importance of the Exchange Notice is provided.
  • A free paper copy is made available upon request.


Wednesday, August 7, 2013


Earlier this week Aetna, who recently purchased Coventry Health Plans, told the Maryland Health Administration Commissioner, Therese Goldsmith that both Aetna and Coventry will be pulled out of the mix for plans offered on the individual exchange.  Aetna requested rates for one of their plans that was 29% higher than what the exchange would allow and decided that to lower their premiums by that amount would be unprofitable. Aetna and Coventry, however, have shown no signs that they are pulling out of the Small Group Exchange Plans.