Finally – Labor Dept. Sets Deadline to Tell Employees About State Exchanges

The U.S. Department of Labor just cleared up a piece of the ambiguity lurking in your health care reform communication strategy!

You may remember that the DOL delayed the original deadline to send employees notification of the state exchanges. Well, the timing is now set: By October 1, 2013, you must tell all your employees about the state health care exchanges.

They’ve crafted a model notice to work from. All the details are here.

state-exchanges-model-noticeOn the plus side, the language is reasonably simple and clear. On the downside, the model notice is long.

And, for those who favor print, it’s going to carry a significant cost to distribute. (Print is not required — safe harbor rules apply.)

Also on the downside, this is just temporary guidance. So, the Labor Department is leaving room for changes ahead.

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We’ll have more in-depth thoughts for you soon on folding this message into your overall strategy. But, you guessed it, we suggest you stay in front of this legal message.

Don’t let it land without a parachute.

This article was originally published on the Benz Communications blog.

Jennifer Benz is Chief Strategist and Founder of Benz Communications, a San Francisco-based consultancy that focuses on custom, comprehensive benefits and HR communications services. Jen is an active member of the Council for Communication Management, the International Association of Business Communicators, the Northern California Human Resources Association and Women in Consulting. Contact her at jen@benzcommunications.com.

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