Archive for September, 2013

New Health Insurance Marketplace Coverage Options and Your Health Coverage

by in Newsletter on Sep. 26, 2013

PART A:  General Information

When key parts of the health care law take effect in 2014, there will be a new way to buy health insurance:  the Health Insurance Marketplace.  To assist you as you evaluate options for you and your family, this notice provides some basic information about the new Marketplace and employment-based coverage offered by your employer.

What is the Health Insurance Marketplace?

The Marketplace is designed to help you find health insurance that meets your needs and fits your budget.  The Marketplace offers “one-stop shopping” to find and compare private health insurance options.  You may also be eligible  for a new kind of tax credit that lowers your monthly premium right away.  Open enrollment for health insurance coverage through the Marketplace begins in October 2013 for coverage starting as early as January 1, 2014.

Can I Save Money on my Health Insurance Premiums in the Marketplace?

You may qualify to save money and lower your monthly premium, but only if your employer does not offer coverage, or offers coverage that doesn’t meet certain standards.  The savings on your premium that you’re eligible for depends on your household income.

Does Employer Health Coverage Affect Eligibility for Premium Savings through the Marketplace?

Yes.  If you have an offer of health coverage from your employer that meets certain standards, you will not be eligible for a tax credit through the Marketplace and may wish to enroll in your employer’s health plan.  However, you may be eligible for a tax credit that lowers your monthly premium, or a reduction in certain cost-sharing if your employer does not offer coverage to you at all or does not offer coverage that meets certain standards.  If the cost of a plan from your employer that would cover you ( and not any other members of your family) is more that 9.5% of your household income for the year, or if the coverage your employer provides does not meet the “minimum value” standard set by the Affordable Care Act, you may be eligible for a tax credit.

Note:  If you purchase a health plan through the Marketplace instead of accepting health coverage offered by your employer, then you may lose the employer contribution (if any) to the employer-offered coverage.  Also, this employer contribution – as well as your employee contribution to employer-offered coverage – is often excluded from income for Federal and State income tax purposes.  Your payments for coverage through the Marketplace are made on an after-tax basis.  The Marketplace can help you evaluate your coverage options, including your eligibility for coverage through the Marketplace and its cost.  Please visit for more information, including an online application for health insurance coverage and contact information for a Health Insurance Marketplace in your area.

PART B:  Information About Health Coverage Offered by Your Employer

This section contains information about any health coverage offered by your employer.  If you decide to complete an application for coverage in the Marketplace, you will be asked to provide this information.  This information is numbered to correspond to the Marketplace application.

3. Employee Name                                                      4. Employee Identiication Number

5. Employee Address                                                 6. Employee phone number

7. City                                                       8. State                                9. ZIP Code

10,  Who can we contact about employee health coverage at your job?

11. Phone number if different from above         12. E-Mail Address


Here is some basic information about health coverage offered by this employer:

1.  As your employer, we offer health coverage to:

a.  All Employees

b. Some employees.  Eligible employees are:

With respect to dependents:

a.  We do offer coverage.  Eligible dependents are:

b.  We do not offer coverage.

If checked, this c overage meets the minimum value standard, and the cost of this coverage to you is intended to be affordable, based on employee wages.

……..Even if your employer intends your coverage to be affordable, you may still be eligible for a premium discount through the Marketplace.  The Marketplace will use your household income, along with other factors, to determine whether you may be eligible for a premium discount.  If, for example, your wages vary from week to week (perhaps you are an hourly employee or your work on a commission basis), if you are newly employed mid-year, or if you have other income losses, you may still qualify for a premium discount.

If you decide to shop for coverage in the Marketplace, will guide you through the process.  Here’s the employer information you’ll enter when you visit to find out if you can get a tax credit to lower your monthly premiums.

The information below corresponds to the Marketplace Employer Coverage Tool.  Completing this section is optional for employers, but will help ensure employees understand their coverage choices.

13.  Is the employee currently eligible for coverage offered by this employer, or will the employee be eligible in the nest three months?

YES (Continue)

13a. If the employee is not eligible today,k including as a result of a waiting or probationary period, when is the employee eligible for coverage? ———————-(mm/dd/yyyy) Continue

NO (Stop and return this form to employee)

14. Does the employer offer a health plan that meets the minimum value standard?       Yes – Go to question 15       No – STOP and return form to employee)

15. For the lowest cost plan that meets the minimum value standard offered only to the employee (don’t include family plans):  If the employer has wellness programs, provide the premium that the employee would pay if he/she received the maximum discount for any tobacco cessation programs, and didn’t receive any other discounts based on wellness programs.

a.  How much would the employee have to pay in premiums for this plan?

b. How often?

b1  Weekly    b2  Every 2 weeks  b3  Twice a month  b4  Monthly  b5  Quarterly      b6  Yearly

If the plan year will end soon and you know that the health plans offered will change, go to question 16.  If you don’t know, STOP and return form to employee.

16.  What change will the employer make for the new plan year?

1. Employer won’t offer health coverage

2.  Employer will start offering health coverage to employees or change the premium for the lowest-cost plan available only to the employee that meets the minimum value standard. * (Premium should reflect the discount for wellness programs.  See question 15.)

3.  How much will the employee have to pay in premiums for that plan:

3a.  How often     3b  Weekly     3c  Every 2 weeks     3d  Twice a month     3e Monthly     3f Quarterly     3g  Yearly