On October 1, the new Health Insurance Marketplace, created under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), will open across the country. The Marketplace will be a one-stop location for individuals and small employers to access affordable coverage. As we approach open enrollment, Federal departments and agencies may wish to educate their employees about the new Marketplace and the options for affordable health care coverage that will become available this Fall. This memorandum provides information about some of the tools OPM is using to educate its employees about the ACA.
In addition, OPM has developed the attached Qs and As to address concerns your employees may have about the impact of the ACA on the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP). OPM is distributing these Qs and As through its normal FEHBP guidance channels, but I wanted to provide them to you directly, so that you will have the information you need to respond to FEHBP questions that may arise in connection with any ACA educational activities you conduct.
OPM’s ACA Outreach and Education Efforts
OPM has been leveraging the materials and information provided by the Department of Health and Human Services through two important ACA websites: www.Healthcare.gov (also available in Spanish at www.CuidadoDeSalud.gov) and http://marketplace.cms.gov/. We have used these resources to conduct a number of educational activities for OPM employees, including:
- Updating the OPM website to include links to HealthCare.gov.
- Hosting a recent ACA and Multi-State Plan Program internal education session for OPM staff.
- Creating a repository of ACA materials for reference and distribution, as appropriate.
- Planning an internal education effort that will involve posting information in heavily-trafficked areas of the Theodore Roosevelt Building, as well as on the agency’s intranet.
- Adding text to OPM email signature blocks that provides information about the ACA.
- Providing information on how the ACA affects small businesses during the OPM Small Business Event on July 31.
- Reviewing the upcoming conference schedule to include ACA information in OPM representatives’ speeches, as appropriate.
This is just a sampling of the kinds of things you can do to educate your employees about the ACA and the Health Insurance Marketplace. If you have any concerns or questions, please contact OPM’s National Healthcare Operations at (202) 606-2128 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Attachment: ACA FEHBP Q&As http://www.chcoc.gov/files/the-affordable-care-act-and-the-federal-employees-health-benefit-program-questions-answers.pdf
cc: Human Resources Directors