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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The SHOP Marketplace in Open
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PSC Commissioner Warns Federal Carbon-Emission Rule Could Cost $20 Billion
Public Service Commissioner Ellen Nowak is a respected lawyer who has worked – in the background, away from TV lights and reporters – as a senior staffer to Republican elected officials and Waukesha County leaders. Although Nowak has worked with – and for – bomb-throwing politicos, that’s not her style. She prefers research to sound bites, so her 2011 appointment to the utility-regulating PSC made sense.
All of which made Nowak the perfect choice to be PSC’s point person on what the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed on June 2 – a 30% cut in carbon-related coal emissions nationally by 2030.
In a WisconsinEye interview, Nowak left her bureaucratic den to outline what the federal plan to fight global climate change – even in its first-draft form – could mean for Wisconsin. “It’s going to have a major impact on our economy,” Nowak warned.
*Although the national goal is a 30% cut in carbon emissions, and states can decide how to achieve it, it would mean a 34% cut in the rate of Wisconsin carbon emissions.
*If the EPA rule becomes final, and is upheld after lawsuits that may reach the U.S. Supreme Court, it could force changes that could cost Wisconsin businesses, utilities and bill-paying customers between $10 billion and $20 billion by 2030.
*Some of Wisconsin’s most productive coal-burning plants – those in Pardeeville, Pleasant Prairie, Weston and Oak Creek , for example – couldn’t meet the new standard and have to shut down. Those are “baseline” plants that provide most of the electricity that runs Wisconsin, Nowak noted.
*Power plants that run on natural gas would be unable to meet the additional demand resulting from the closing or lowered production of coal-burning plants, requiring major investments not only in generating capacity but in new delivery systems.
*Wisconsin would be especially hurt by the EPA rule because its economy depends so heavily on electricity-gobbling manufacturing.
Nowak conceded the EPA rule is not yet final, could still be changed and might not survive in court. And, the new president who takes office in January 2017 could decide to keep, kill or revise EPA’s dictate. But President Barack Obama clearly wants fighting climate change as part of his legacy, she noted.
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