The online health insurance exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act will open for business on Oct. 1–two weeks from now. And while employers with 50 or fewer full-time employees are not required to offer health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act, and now businesses with more than 50 full-time employees have gotten a one-year reprieve from implementing the plan, all companies, regardless of size, are required to notify their employees about the health insurance marketplaces and must do so, in writing, by Oct. 1, 2013.
The U.S. Department of Labor has posted information about the notification requirement on its website  and has provided model notices that can be used both by employers who offer insurance  (PDF) and by those who do not offer insurance  (PDF).
Professionals at ShindelRock recommend clients who own small businesses model their communication on the DOL form that matches their business size. Then mail to all employees or follow the instructions for distributing it electronically. Employees who come on board after Oct. 1 must get the notice within 14 days of their start date with the company. It’s not clear how the requirement will be enforced, but penalties for businesses that don’t comply could reach $100 per worker per day. If you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.