Frequently Asked Questions

 

Q:   I have heard about Obamacare (Affordable Care Act) in the news and understand it has extended health insurance to those who did not have it before, but how does it impact me?

 

A:   The Affordable Care Act impacts nearly every person in America in some way:  the ACA provided access to affordable health care coverage to every American; extended dependent coverage to age 26; provided for coverage for those with pre-existing conditions; implemented new standards for appeals; provided patient protections; and set out-of-pocket maximum limits, among other things.

 

 

Q:   As an employee of ASD, what do I need to know about the ACA?

 

A:   Employees and their supervisors need to be aware that the district is obligated to offer coverage that meets affordability and minimum essential requirements to substantially all full-time employees (i.e. those working an average of 30 hours or more per week).  Because ASD is obligated to offer the coverage to any employee exceeding this threshold, the administration has taken into account the cost of extending benefits to this group, and wishes to limit hours to mitigate the potential costs.

 

 

Q:   If I am the supervisor of an employee, not eligible for benefits, that becomes eligible for benefits as required under the ACA, who pays for the cost of coverage?

 

A:   The cost of coverage will be provided through the department where the employee is assigned.  ASD has not determined how costs will be apportioned for employees with multiple assignments.

 

 

Q:   As a supervisor, what is expected of me to manage the impacts of ACA?

 

A:   Supervisors should monitor personnel and take any associated planning actions necessary to help ensure we are in compliance.  Keep in mind that .75 FTE or greater employees are already benefits eligible and not a concern.  The average weekly hours for employees .74 FTE and less, those with multiple positions (e.g. TA, noon duty, crossing guard), long-term subs and any employee with addenda should be examined.

 

 

Q:   How will ASD determine who is a full-time employee, and therefore subject to the ESR penalty?

 

A:   Under the ACA, full-time employees are defined as any employee who works 130 hours or more per month, or an average of 30 hours or more per week.  To calculate the average hours per week, the EmpCenter Hours Worked by Pay Code Report can be used.  Total hours are divided by the number of weeks from 4/2/16 to present, excluding summer break if not worked (up to 12.5 weeks). 

 

 

Q:   Do hours worked as part of an addenda count towards determining full-time status?

 

A:   Yes.  However, because EmpCenter will not be used to track addenda until March 2017, addenda hours are not included in the EmpCenter Hours Worked by Pay Code Report.  ASD to date has not developed criteria or guidelines for translating the dollar value of addenda into equivalent employee hours worked. 

 

For this reason, ASD currently recommends a conservative approach be taken to managing average weekly hours and any associated personnel planning to remain under the 30 hour per week threshold.  Generally speaking, the risk of exceeding the threshold is greater when employees have multiple positions and/or multiple addenda.  Please be aware that addenda should not be used to circumvent paying overtime to hourly employees, as required under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  If you are unsure about FLSA compliance or have questions, please contact Human Resources at 742-4187.

 

 

Q:  My supervisor just informed me that my hours may be limited and because I’m working several positions at ASD, that I will no longer be able to continue some of these assignments.  Why is ASD taking these actions?

 

A:   ASD is obligated under the ACA to extend health care coverage to employees who were not previously eligible if the employee works an average of 30 hours or more per week.  The cost of extending benefits to this new group of employees comes without any associated increase in funding.  The administration wishes to limit hours of employees in this group to mitigate the potential unfunded costs.

 

 

Q:   Will the Affordable Care Act be repealed under a new administration?

 

A:   While the ACA has been a topic of discussion by the new leadership in Washington, no one can say for certain whether, or in what way, the ACA will be repealed, replaced or revised.  In the meantime, we must ensure compliance with existing law.  It is highly likely that any changes to the ACA will be made over a period of years to “phase-out” existing provisions.

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