Affordable Care Act: Departments
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is a comprehensive federal health care reform law with provisions that are being phased in over a period of several years. The legislation seeks to ensure quality of coverage and guarantee access and affordability.
What does my department need to know about the ACA requirements?
Effective January 1, 2015, the ACA requires UVM and other large employers to offer medical insurance benefits to any employee averaging 30 work hours or more per week (130 hours per month). This requirement is referred to as the "employer mandate" of the ACA. The 12-month "measurement period" that will be used to determine employee eligibility for UVM medical insurance benefits is October 15, 2014 through October 15, 2015 (see below).
For Benefits-Eligible UVM Employees
The University currently offers a comprehensive medical insurance plan to employees who work 50% or more for 9, 10, 11, or 12 months (academic year). Approximately 3,800 UVM employees are benefits-eligible in this way.
The ACA does not require that these individuals make any changes to their medical benefits, nor will these employees see any changes to their medical benefits as a result of the ACA's employer mandate taking effect on January 1, 2015.
For Non-Benefits-Eligible UVM Employees
Non-benefits-eligible employees include those employees who do not regularly work, on average, 30 hours or more per week. ACA guidelines describe these employees as "variable hour" employees. At UVM, variable hour employees include:
- Temporary Faculty and Staff Employees
- Student Employees (non-Work Study)
- Graduate Assistants
- Pre-and Post-Doctoral Associates
- Part-time Lecturers and other part-time or adjunct faculty
To ensure compliance with ACA requirements to monitor and report the hours worked by variable hour employees, departments will be asked to assist in creating accurate employment records for all such individuals.
How will UVM determine eligibility for Medical Insurance for Variable Hour Employees?
The ACA provides the following method to determine if a variable hour employee has reached the 30-hour-per-week threshold and should be offered medical insurance:
For ACTIVE Variable Hour Employees (employed as of October 15, 2014)
UVM will "look back" at a 12-month measurement period to determine whether an individual employee AVERAGED 30 hours of work per week (130 hours per month).
The current measurement period began on October 15, 2014.
If employees work an average of 30 hours or more per week (130 hours per month) during the measurement period, they must be offered UVM-sponsored medical insurance for a period of time in the future, called the stability period. If the qualified employee enrolls following the offer of insurance, coverage will continue, regardless of hours worked, for the entire stability period. If they leave the University during the stability period, they are eligible for continued coverage under COBRA provisions.
- The Stability Period will be January 1 through December 31 each year.
- The first Stability Period will begin on January 1, 2015.
There is an administrative period between the measurement and stability periods. During this time, employees will be notified that they are eligible for UVM medical insurance and eligible employees will be able to enroll for coverage that will begin on January 1.
- The administrative period will be October 15 through December 31 each year.
- The first administrative period will begin on October 15, 2014.
For NEW Variable Hour Employees (hired after October 1, 2014)
Each employee will have an individual measurement period of 11 months that will begin on the first of the month following the date of hire. On the following October 15, the new employee will be included in a measurement period for existing employees, as described above.
Questions? e-Mail HRSinfo@uvm.edu or call the HRS Employee Information Center at 802-656-3150.
Last modified November 06 2015 09:58 AM