September 17, 2013
Important Information to
Help WPE Employers Meet
Marketplace Notice Federal Requirement
Employers must provide federal Marketplace (formerly Exchange)
Notices to every employee prior to October 1, 2013. While the Department
of Employee Trust Funds (ETF) has no administrative responsibility
with this notice, we are providing this information to assist you
in following federal guidelines. Direct employee questions to the
website, or they may call 1-800-318-2596.
Employees who are eligible for health insurance will get the Marketplace
Notice in the It’s Your Choice 2014 Reference Guide in the
State and Federal Notification sections starting on Page 11. (The
It's Your Choice Guides will be available online on September 27,
2013; paper books will be in employer’s hands prior to October
However, the federal Marketplace Notice must be sent to all employees,
including those who are not eligible for health insurance, and you
must track receipt. Therefore, in addition to sending the federal
notice with a cover letter to employees who are ineligible for health
insurance, you may want to send a duplicate notice to those who
will be receiving an It’s Your Choice 2014 Reference Guide
to be certain that all employees receive notification.
Information outlined below, as well as the links, may help you
with the Marketplace Notice. Note, new employees hired after October
1 must receive the notice within 14 days of the employee’s
Who must receive the notice?
All employees without exception. This includes those who are
ineligible or not enrolled in the Wisconsin Public Employers Group
Health Insurance Program.
Who does not have to receive the notice?
Employee’s dependents, retirees and COBRA/continuation
participants. (ETF’s updated COBRA/Continuation-Conversion
Notice (ET-2311 rev. 9/13), which will be available by October
1, 2013, complies with the federal Marketplace Notice requirement.)
Documents to be provided to the employee:
- A federal model notice form “New Health Insurance Marketplace
Coverage Options and Your Health Insurance” (Find the Model
Notice on the Department
of Labor website, under Affordable Care Act Regulations and
Guidance, Notice to Employees of Coverage Options under the second
bullet, Model Notice, MS Word Format)
- Standard cover
letter (sample linked).
- If an employee requests it, employers must complete Part B of
the federal Marketplace Notice. The linked definition
sheet may assist you in defining eligible dependents. The
Wisconsin Public Employers Group Health Insurance Program meets
the Minimum Value Standard, so the two boxes on that topic can
be checked affirmatively.
How should employees be notified per federal guidelines?
Electronic Delivery: The notice may be delivered
electronically if the employee has access to a computer (i.e.
the Internet) on a routine basis as part of his or her job that
would enable him or her to access the documents at work. Making
a computer kiosk generally available is not adequate. In addition,
if the employee has access to the employer’s computer system
through a home office and the office is a location where employment
duties are performed and access to the employer’s computer
system is an integral part of the employee’s duties, electronic
notice is acceptable.
Employers distributing the cover letter and Marketplace Notice
electronically should incorporate the following as part of their
electronic distribution procedures:
- Develop a list of all employees and then use that list to
match against their file of employee e-mail addresses.
- Verify the list and then send the employee an e-mail with
the link to the cover letter and notice. Employers should send
the email with a “return receipt.” This will establish
a record of when the employee opened the e-mail.
- Employers must retain the list of employees who received
an electronic copy. For each employee who receives an e-mail
message, the employer should receive a "reject" notice
if the e-mail address is no longer in existence.
Note: Paper copies must be given to employees
who receive the electronic distribution but request a hard copy.
- Paper Delivery: For employees who do not meet
the above criteria for electronic delivery, a paper notice is
required. In addition, employees not expected to be actively at
work on October 1, 2013 must be provided a paper notice. Paper
copies may be provided by first-class mail, hand-delivered to
the employee or delivered to the employee’s work mailbox
if it can be reliably assumed that the employee will receive it
by October 1. The notice may be printed from the federal website
described under documents to be provided to the employee.
Employers should retain a list of the employees who received a
- Follow-up Delivery: Any “undeliverable”
or “out-of-office” e-mails should be followed by either
a second attempt to deliver to a corrected or alternate e-mail
address, or the transmission of a paper notice. Any returned first-class
mail should prompt an effort to verify the employee’s address
and resend the notice and cover letter. You should maintain a
record of these secondary attempts. These actions should be taken
as soon as possible and prior to October 1 if at all feasible.
- New Hires: Employers will not necessarily need
to maintain a tracking spreadsheet on a permanent, ongoing basis
for new hires. Instead, employers may implement a standardized
process to provide notice to new employees to ensure new hires
receive the notice within 14 days of an employee’s hire
date. However, individualized tracking would provide the strongest
evidence of compliance in the event of a federal audit.
Healthcare.gov or call