After January 1st, when "community rating" kicks in for individuals and small groups under 50, claims will not be considered to determine health premiums. Only two factors will be allowed to change the premiums offered by a plan to individuals and small groups under 50 in the same geographic area: age and smoking status. The premium increase due to age will be limited to a 3 to 1 ratio.
Beginning Jan. 1, 2014, individuals and employees of small businesses will have access to insurance coverage through the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) health insurance exchanges (Exchanges). Open enrollment under the Exchanges will begin on Oct. 1, 2013.
ACA requires employers to provide all new hires and current employees with a written notice about ACA’s Exchanges. This requirement is found in Section 18B of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
On May 8, 2013, the Department of Labor (DOL) released Technical Release 2013-02 to provide temporary guidance on the Exchange notice requirement. This temporary guidance will remain in effect until the DOL issues regulations or other guidance. According to the DOL, future regulations or other guidance will provide employers with adequate time to comply with any additional or modified requirements.
The Affordable Care Act requires "applicable large employers" (ie, employers with 50 or more full-time or full-time equivalent employees) to offer "minimum essential coverage" (MEC) to its employees. If the employer does not offer the required coverage, it will be subject to a $2000 per year penalty if any one of its employees obtains a premium credit to purchase health insurance through a health exchange after January 2014.