October 1, 2013 ACA Notice Requirements for Employers
Confusion reigns regarding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ("PPACA") and obligations to provide notices to employees of information regarding the new Health Insurance Market Place ("Exchanges") by no later than October 1, 2013.
WIB has received numerous calls and inquiries concerning the October 1, deadline over the past several days. Understandably, some of the requirements of the PPACA get lost in the myriad of news reports and debates about extending time limits and attacks on program funding.
WIB is therefore publishing an article by Andy DeClercq with links to model notices. Andy is an attorney with Boardman & Clark, LLP - the law firm retained by WIB to assist WIB members.
In the meantime, a couple of key issues include:
Number of Employees: The October 1, 2013 Notice Deadline is not limited to employers with more than 50 employees. The Notice requirement applies to all employers covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA"). The FLSA covers all employers with at least one employee and at least $500,000 annual business revenue.
Employer Coverage: The October 1, 2013 Notice Deadline is applicable whether or not the employer offers any health insurance to its employees. The model notices used will be different for employers offering health plans from those who do not.
Full vs. Part-Time Employees: The Notice requirements are applicable to both full and part-time employees.
New Hires: Employees hired after October 1, 2013, must be provided applicable notices at the time of hire or within 14 days thereafter.
COBRA Notices: Required COBRA notices for employees have been modified to reflect information on the exchanges.
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Potawatomi Withholds Payment to Wisconsin
The Forest County Potawatomi has refused to make its annual casino revenue payment to the state as Gov. Scott Walker mulls whether to approve a competing facility, causing what the governor is calling a "significant" impact on the state budget.
A tribal spokesman issued a terse statement Tuesday evening saying the tribe made the move because the state may end up owing the Potawatomi money if Walker approves the Menominee Nation's plans for an off-reservation casino in Kenosha. The Potawatomi runs a lucrative casino in Milwaukee just up Interstate 94 from Kenosha and opposes the new facility, fearing it could suck customers away. The Potawatomi's gambling compact with the state requires Wisconsin to reimburse the tribe for any losses it suffers due to a Kenosha casino. Walker's administration is trying to negotiate a deal with the tribe on how to offset losses.
It's unclear how much money the Potawatomi owes the state. The tribe's compact calls for it to pay the state 6.5 percent of its net win in Milwaukee, but those winnings are confidential and a Walker administration spokesman had no immediate response when pressed for details Tuesday.
Walker, a Republican, has until Feb. 19 to make a decision on the Kenosha casino. Democrats have been pressing him to make up his mind before the November elections. In a letter to Democratic legislators Tuesday, Walker said he's moving cautiously because he's concerned about the effect on the state budget.
"Already one of the tribal governments is withholding payments to the State and that is having a significant impact on the status of the State budget," Walker wrote. "Needless to say, we are moving forward with legitimate caution as we cannot risk putting that size of a hole in the current and future State budgets. Therefore, we will take the appropriate time necessary to insure that we appropriately manage the finances of the State of Wisconsin."
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