WHAT DO EMPLOYEES NEED TO KNOW?
For benefits-eligible UVM employees, there will be no changes during the 2016 calendar year to the medical insurance plan offered by UVM. The university's existing benefits meet the ACA's requirements for affordability, benefit value and coverage.
WHAT MUST AN EMPLOYEE DO TO COMPLY WITH THE ACA?
- The ACA required most Americans to have medical insurance by January 1, 2014, or pay an income tax penalty. The law offers individuals the ability to choose how and where to get coverage.
- If individuals already have medical insurance through an employer-sponsored plan (such as the UVM medical insurance plan), Medicaid, Medicare, or private insurance, they can keep it.
- Individuals may choose to purchase medical insurance from Vermont Health Connect (the Vermont "healthcare exchange") and possibly qualify for a federal subsidy.
WHAT MUST THE UNIVERSITY DO TO COMPLY WITH THE ACA?
UVM's current employee medical plans are qualified in the Vermont marketplace as a result of providing essential health benefits, following established limits on cost-sharing, and meeting ACA requirements.
- Effective January 1, 2015, large employers like UVM (50 or more employees) will incur penalties if they fail to offer health insurance benefits to all employees who average 30 or more work hours per week, or 130 hours per month, for a 12-month period.
- To ensure that all UVM employees who average 30 hours of work per week are offered medical insurance, UVM departments are assisting Human Resource Services in accounting for hours worked by historically non-benefits-eligible employees.
- Variable Hour Employees
- Temporary Faculty and Staff
All temporary employees who work an average of 30 hours or more per week (130 hours per month) during the 12-month measurement period (October 15, 2014 through October 15, 2015) will be offered UVM-sponsored medical insurance for the 12-month stability period that begins January 1, 2016. Insurance will be offered to employees, who may also choose to cover their eligible dependent children. Spousal coverage will not be provided. Coverage will continue for the entire twelve month stability period, regardless of hours worked, for qualified employees who enroll in the UVM plan following the offer of insurance. If these employees enroll in the UVM plan and then leave the University during the stability period, they will be eligible for continued coverage under COBRA provisions.
There are a variety of academic positions within the University in which faculty are assigned variable hours. UVM has established guidelines based on course load for non-tenure track faculty whose primary duties are teaching courses. For faculty not assigned a full-time equivalent (FTE), the ACA permits assignment of 3.33 hours per week for each credit taught, to cover classroom time, student advising and related work. After calculating teaching hours in this way, UVM will assign an additional one hour per week for department or other University business, such as faculty meetings.
Non-teaching work assigned to part-time faculty working variable hours will be recorded on the basis of the actual hours specified in their individual compensation agreements.
UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT EMPLOYEES
Students use part-time jobs both to offset their educational expenses and to gain work experience. Student employees must be enrolled at UVM with a minimum enrollment of one credit hour. The majority of student workers do not exceed 20 hours per week in order to focus on their academic programs. Students who work a combined average of 30 hours or more per week in all non-Work Study jobs over a 12-month measurement period must be offered access to the employer medical plan, although they may decline or waive the coverage in favor of their student health insurance or other private insurance.
Departments are expected to monitor student hours to ensure compliance with requirements of the Student Employment Office.
GRADUATE ASSISTANTS / PRE AND POST-DOCTORAL ASSOCIATES
When a graduate assistant (GA) or Pre-Doctoral or Post-Doctoral Associate receives W-2 wages, their hours of service will be counted in order to determine whether they are a full-time employee for ACA purposes. Under requirements of the Graduate College, GAs at .50 FTE or less may pursue additional supplemental compensation up to a maximum of 30 hours per week. To facilitate tracking GA supplemental compensation, home hiring units will be asked to clearly state work hour commitments on any supplemental compensation forms (additional pay forms).
POST-DOCTORAL FELLOWS AND TRAINEES
Postdoctoral Fellows/Trainees are not considered to be University employees. Postdoctoral Fellows are currently eligible for University medical insurance coverage under terms and conditions described by the Graduate College.
BREAKS IN SERVICE DUE TO THE ACADEMIC YEAR
UVM will apply the ACA's special rules for educational institutions in order to prevent averaging employee hours of service over a 12-month period in a way that could distort measurement by including summer months or other periods when employees have no assigned work hours.