Health Care Reform: What the Law Means for You Right Now

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Last week, the American Booksellers Association launched a new BookWeb advocacy page focusing on the Affordable Care Act (ACA). With the Health Insurance Marketplaces (also known as exchanges) set to open next Tuesday, October 1 (and online enrollment for federally operated small business health exchanges set to open November 1), now is the time for bookstore owners — and employees — to learn how health insurance reform affects them. The new webpage offers state-specific fact sheets presenting key information about health care reform options and pointing booksellers in the right direction if they have further questions or wish to enroll in their state’s exchange.

The fact sheets provide details about what exchange a bookseller would be using with a link to the pertinent website; whether the state is expanding Medicaid; and general health benefits and tax incentives for business owners. The sheets will also be available at ABA’s education session “Health Care Reform and the Bookstore: How It Affects You Now” at each of the regional trade shows. To find your state’s fact sheet, visit the new Health Care Reform webpage. (You will need a BookWeb user name and password to access the documents.)

Additionally, as part of the new regulations, all employers subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) are required to notify their full- and part-time employees by October 1, 2013, regarding the availability of health care coverage, regardless of whether they offer health coverage or not. In general, a business is subject to FLSA if it has at least two employees and does at least $500,000 in business per year, as reported by The National Law Review.

The Department of Labor has created model notices that employers can use to send to their employees to comply with the law. There is a model notice for employers that offer a health plan to some or all employees, and another for employers who do not offer a health plan. (Learn more.)

Booksellers with questions about health care reform should contact ABA Senior Public Policy Analyst David Grogan at (800) 637-0037, ext. 7562 or via e-mail.