Implementation of the federal Affordable Care Act continues, requiring considerable Human Resources Department (HR) staff time to insure that the City is compliant with provisions of the Act. The Act is progressively implemented over a period of years, with milestones and requirements that must be met each year.
The City has met all requirements of the Act since its implementation in 2010. At this time, employers are required to provide notification to employees with preliminary information on the October 1, 2013 opening of the federal Insurance Marketplace. The Marketplace will provide individuals with health insurance options, as well as standard methods to compare plans and prices. City employees that are eligible for City health insurance coverage will not likely choose to participate in the Marketplace; however, employees that are not eligible for City insurance (such as temporary employees and interns) will have some requirements under the law to secure coverage or face penalties. The City provided notification to staff regarding the Insurance Marketplace the week of August 26, 2013. The City is required to provide an additional notice to employees which explains the requirement to secure health insurance or pay a penalty. This notice will be provided to staff in the next few weeks.
It is expected that implementation of the Affordable Care Act will require City staff to continue to devote considerable resources, both in terms of time and money as the impact of health care reform is realized in the administration of health insurance and employee benefit programs.