As you know, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) is bringing with it many changes to health care as we know it. There is tremendous uncertainty and fear surrounding its implementation. But you need not worry. As a Georgia Dental Insurance Services (GDIS) customer, you can rest assured that the GDIS large group health plan is and will continue to be a stable insurance plan available to GDA members, their families and staff.

You can also count on GDIS to keep you apprized of the latest developments under PPACA. To that end, we are sending this letter to remind you of the impending deadline to notify all employees of the existence of the Health Insurance Exchanges. The GDA published an article in the August issue of Action Magazine regarding this compliance issue; however, to ensure that you are able to meet the fast approaching deadline, here are the facts that you need to know:

• By October 1, 2013, employers subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act (and the vast majority of employers are subject to this law) must notify all of their employees in writing about the existence of the Health Insurance Exchanges.

•  The notification must include certain information to ensure you are compliant. The Department of Labor (DOL) has model notices on their website at http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/healthreform. There is one model notice for employers that offer a health plan to some or all employees and another model notice for those that do not currently offer a health plan. For your convenience, copies of these notices are included with this correspondence.

•  As an employer you must provide the notice to each current employee, regardless of whether the employee is enrolled in your health plan and regardless of the employee’s status as part-time, full-time, or temporary.

•  For new hires, the notification must be provided at the time of hire. In 2014, new hires are to receive the written notification within 14 days of their start date. You are not required to provide a separate notice to the spouses or dependents of employees.  

• The notice must be provided in writing in a manner calculated to be understood by the average employee.  This means that it can be provided by hand-delivery (payroll stuffer) or first-class mail.  The notice must be provided automatically, free of charge, and written in a language that the average employee can understand.

•  For additional information regarding complying with this notification, dentists may visit the DOL’s technical guidance on their web site at http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/newsroom/tr13-02.html.

We strive to provide you with timely information to help you navigate the ever changing insurance world. If we can answer any questions or assist with any of your insurance needs, please do not hesitate to call us. You can reach GDIS at (800) 432-4357 or (404) 636-7553.