The DOL suddenly updated their FAQs on Notice of Coverage Options to clarify what happens to employers who fail to provide notice of Insurance Marketplace.
From the site:
Q: Can an employer be fined for failing to provide employees with notice about the Affordable Care Act’s new Health Insurance Marketplace?
A: No. If your company is covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act, it should provide a written notice to its employees about the Health Insurance Marketplace by October 1, 2013, but there is no fine or penalty under the law for failing to provide the notice.
So, after employers have been badgered by consultants, brokers, and lawyers to create and distribute the Marketplace Notice to 100% of all of their employees, under fear of penalty or fine, the Obama administration says there will be NO PENALTIES for failure to comply with this mandate.
Is a government mandate WITHOUT a penalty a mandate at all? OR, is it an optional activity that does not need to be performed?
To me, it looks like the Obamacare administration has approached another deadline, heard the implementation panic, headaches, and concerns….and responded by saying “NEVERMIND.”
UPDATE: ERISA Attorneys are advising employers that even without a Penalty, employers should distribute the notices since failure to do so could lead to an employee lawsuit for failure to notify.