At Financial Brokerage Services, we hope that employers have sent their Health Insurance Exchange (HIX) notices to their employees on time. We understand that some employers and employees ask what HIX is, what it does, and what everyone should do about it. We want to help by explaining what HIX is and its effects on the ability to get individual or group health insurance in Virginia and other nearby states.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) provides an option for people to obtain affordable health insurance. This option is the Health Insurance Exchange, which is sometimes referred to as the Health Benefit Exchange, the Health Insurance Marketplace, or simply the Marketplace. PPACA requires each state to create and maintain an online HIX by January 1, 2014.
Employers who are subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act must send a HIX notice to all full-time and part-time employees by October 1, 2013. However, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) says that employers will not be penalized if they failed to provide their employees a HIX notice by then. DOL also provides notice templates in English and Spanish for employers who offer and do not offer a health plan to their employees.
At Financial Brokerage Services, we urge employers who have not yet sent a HIX notice to their employees to do so right away. Aside from providing information about their state’s Marketplace, the notice must tell employees two important things: that they can acquire affordable private insurance through HIX, and that they may lose any employer contributions to their health benefits if they buy insurance through the Marketplace.
Open Enrollment in the Health Insurance Exchange Marketplace begins October 1, 2013. Employees can start their application process on that date, with coverage becoming effective on January 1, 2014. Employees must also provide information pertaining to their household income and verify if their employers will offer coverage beginning January. Additional details are available at www.healthcare.gov.
We believe that everyone wants solid health care coverage. We highly recommend everyone, employers and employees alike, to shop for insurance that offers the best combination of features at a price they can afford. We can also request quotes from various insurers that give individuals optimum value for their insurance investment.
HIX provides everyone relevant information to determine their insurance options. Interested parties who also seek group health insurance in Maryland and Washington DC can contact us at www.FinancialBrokerageServices.com for more information today.