Pile of mail Employers thatsponsor health plans that provide coverage that meets theindividual mandate's MEC requirements must provide a writtenstatement to each employee or former employee. (Photo:Shutterstock)

There are two new laws governing employee benefits thatwill affect employers with California employees beginning Jan. 1,2020: a new individual health coverage mandate and a newnotice requirement related to flexible spending accounts.

Health coverage mandate for individuals

The first new law imposes a mandate on all California residentsto obtain health coverage for themselves, their spouse (or domesticpartner), and their dependents beginning on Jan. 1, 2020. Thecoverage must meet minimum essential coverage (MEC) requirements asdefined by California law. Individuals who do not comply will faceCalifornia state tax penalties unless they qualify for an exemptionfrom the law. The law also increases premium subsidies toindividuals for coverage through Covered California.

The law does not require the employer to give employees anyimmediate notice of the new individual mandate. Instead, the stateof California will notify all individuals who did not indicate ontheir individual income tax returns they and their dependents wereenrolled in and maintained minimum essential coverage for thepreceding year.

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