The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, commonly known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA), contains several key programs and mandates for employers and individuals. The ACA is intended to offer medical insurance to all Americans, regardless of pre-existing conditions. Some of the key provisions that affect IPFW faculty and staff:
Medical Insurance for all Full-Time Employees
The ACA requires employers of 50 or more employees to offer medical insurance to all full-time employees and their dependents (excluding spouses). A "full-time employee" under the law is defined as anyone who averages, over a set measurement period, more than 30 hours of work per week. This provision takes effect on January 1, 2015, and applies to all employees, including student employees and limited-term lecturers.
Defined measurement period. IPFW's defined measurement period will be October 7th through the following October 6th, with the first measurement period to commence October 7th, 2013 to determine benefit eligibility for January 1st, 2015.
Faculty/staff whose hours are to be measured. IPFW must maintain time records of some sort on all non-benefited employees, including limited-term lecturers; graduate appointees; temporary clerical/service and administrative professional employees; and student employees.
Measurement tools. Different groups will be accounted for using different methods, including some methods which have yet to be developed:
Limits on Hours Worked. Because of the financial liability to the university, non-benefited employee (as identified above) should not be allowed to average more than 29 hours of work per week over the defined measurement period.
Responsibility. It is the employing department(s) responsibility to ensure than a non-benefited employee work less than 29 hours per week. Human Resources will provide reports to departments to help monitor employee work hours. This reporting, however, is always after-the-fact, so it is important that departments manage their employee's work schedule in order to stay below the limit.
Individual Mandate and Health Insurance Exchanges
The Affordable Care Act requires all individuals not covered by an employer sponsored health plan, or a public insurance program such as Medicare or Medicaid, to obtain health insurance or face a penalty. To this end, health insurance exchanges are being established to allow individuals to purchase health insurance. Employers are required to send a notice to all employees informing them of the availability of the exchanges.
Health Insurance Exchange Notice: Both Indiana University and Purdue University will send an email and/or letter to all employees before October 1st, 2013. New employees will be given a health insurance exchange notice at the time of hire.
Although anyone is eligible to purchase insurance through a health insurance exchange, an individual who is on the Indiana University or Purdue University medical plan will likely find such a plan much more expensive. Since both university's plans are considered acceptable under the law, there will be no subsidy for any benefited employee who purchases medical insurance through an exchange.