I own a small business and have just 32 employees. I heard something last week at a business networking group about having to give my employees health reform information. What’s up with this? I don’t offer health insurance and as far as I know, I don’t have to since I only have 32 people. Now I have to give everyone some kind of notice about a law that doesn’t apply to me?
Head Chef, Cook, and Bottle washer
Dear Head Chef,
You have stumbled upon one of the lesser known facets of health reform. You heard correctly: all businesses that have at least $500,000 in annual revenues, whether they offer a plan and no matter how many employees they have, are supposed to give employees a notice describing their rights under health reform.
Certain kinds of businesses are required to give the notice, even if their revenues are less than $500,000: hospitals; institutions primarily engaged in the care of the sick, the aged, mentally ill, or disabled who reside on the premises; schools for children who are mentally or physically disabled or gifted; preschools, elementary and secondary schools, and institutions of higher education; and federal, state and local government agencies
The notice is supposed to be given to employees on October 1st. The federal Department of Labor has two model notices that you can use:
How this rule will be enforced is certainly not clear. To be on the safe side, print out the notice and give it to your staffers. Then get back to the bottle washing . . .