ST. LOUIS – Businesses with employees covered under Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), including small businesses, are required under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to provide employees notification of health insurance coverage options no later than October 1, 2013. Further guidance can be found at http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/newsroom/tr13-02.html. Model notices for employers who offer health insurance can be found at http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/pdf/FLSAwithplans.pdf and for employers who do not offer insurance can be found at http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/pdf/FLSAwithoutplans.pdf.
The Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) and the Health Insurance Marketplace for individuals and families open on October 1, 2013, with plans effective January 1, 2014. Information on both is available at https://www.healthcare.gov/.
Individuals not covered by employee health care plans and small businesses not offering coverage, may wish to consult Affordable Care Act Health Care Navigators between October 1 and December 31. SBA St. Louis District Director Dennis Melton notes, “Employers who are unable to offer insurance may wish to provide group guidance as a service to employees on their health insurance options.”
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced $67 million in grant awards to 105 Navigator grant applicants in Federally-facilitated and State Partnership Marketplaces. These Navigator grantees and staff will serve as in-person resources. Navigators are trained to provide information to consumers about health insurance, the new Health Insurance Marketplaces, qualified health plans, and public programs including Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. The recipients of Navigator grants in Federally-facilitated and State Partnership Marketplaces located in Missouri that small business owners may wish to contact are Primaris Healthcare Business Solutions and Missouri Alliance of Area Agencies on Aging. HHS has also recognized more than 100 national organizations and businesses who have volunteered to help Americans learn about the health care coverage available in the Marketplace.
The list of Champions for Coverage continues to grow across the nation as businesses and organizations are helping consumers understand the coming options for quality, affordable coverage. Champions for Coverage currently include the American Medical Association; League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC); NAACP; National Baptist Convention, the National Partnership for Women and Families and many others.
For a list of Navigator awardees or more information about Navigators and other in-person assisters, please visit: http://cciio.cms.gov/programs/exchanges/assistance.html
Click here to learn more about organizations participating in Champions for Coverage: http://marketplace.cms.gov/help-us/champions-for-coverage-list.pdf.
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