The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACS), commonly called the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is federal legislation signed into law by President Obama in March 2010. The ACA was enacted with the goals of increasing the quality and affordability of health insurance.
The Individual Mandate became effective January 1, 2014 and requires most Americans to have medical insurance. Those who do not have insurance may have to pay a tax penalty when filing their tax return.
The law also requires an employer with 50 or more full-time employees to offer medical insurance to full-time employees and their children up to age 26 and is referred to as the Employer Shared Responsibility. This portion of the law became effective January 1, 2015 and consists of employer penalties and reporting requirements.
Employers subject to the Employer Shared Responsibility are required to measure an employee’s hours over a period of time and if the employee is determined to be full-time, offer coverage to that employee for an equal period of time regardless of the number of hours worked during that period as long as the employee is still employed. For ACA purposes, a full-time employee is defined as an employee working an average of 30 hours per week or 130 hours per month.
SOU does already provide medical insurance to its benefit-eligible employees – Classified and Unclassified employees in positions at .50 FTE or greater. Under the ACA, employees that may not have been in a benefit eligible position in the past or fell below benefit eligibility may now qualify for medical insurance. Examples of employees that may now qualify for medical insurance include: Temporary Service (TS) employees; employees and/or returning retirees in less than .50 FTE positions; employees on leave of absence; employees that go into leave without pay; and undergraduate students.
The information below explains how the ACA will affect our current faculty, staff and students, and things to consider when hiring. The information is based on the most recent guidance from federal agencies and will be updated as necessary.
ACA Quick Facts (PDF)