May 28, 2015

November 12, 2015


Affordable Care Act Requirements and Impact (05/28/15)

Over the last two or three years and for the foreseeable future the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will have an impact and alter the way every organization will administer its benefits to and for its employees. This memo seeks to briefly share information that will explain how some of it will be felt in our operation.

One of the requirements of the "Act" is that all employees who consistently work, or are expected to work, 30 hours or more per week must be given the opportunity to participate in the organization's healthcare plan. As a result, the Office of Human Resources will be forced to monitor the hours of employees who are not already health-benefit eligible—this includes adjunct faculty and student workers (including graduate assistants and those working as resident assistants and for the Andrews University Student Association). It will also include monitoring contracts and non-hours based pay, i.e. one-time pays.

We regret the inconvenience this will cause you as you adjust to the fact that we must monitor and remind you if your employees' hours are coming in conflict with their employment/benefit classification. This is an important concern for us to address as this represents benefit costs that we must manage effectively. Unplanned participants in our healthcare plan could be very costly to our operation.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work through these new regulations. Unfortunately, some of the implementation guidelines are still being figured out in the marketplace and we do not yet understand all the implications of the regulations. You will receive further communication from us once we've determined the direction we need to take. Please allow us some time to confirm and sort out the various issues before we can respond to questions you may have.

Affordable Care Act Policy Published (11/12/15)

In May, HR emailed out a brief introduction to the new Affordable Care Act (ACA) and its impact on employers. Published information about the law and new University policies and procedures designed to ensure compliance and minimize fiscal liabilities can now be found on the Office of Human Resources website. This information includes:

Compliance has necessitated many changes to the procedures involved in hiring and paying employees across all categories. We suggest that you familiarize yourself with this new ACA section, and specifically with the ACA policy. The following are a few important points to keep in mind after reviewing the policy:

Healthcare coverage eligibility

  • Immediate eligibility rules will apply to new hire/rehires effective January 1, 2016
  • Any employee newly hired after November 1, 2014 is currently in their initial measurement period and will be offered coverage as appropriate from January 1, 2016 forward
  • All other employees will be considered continuing employees subject to hours measurement for the standard measurement period 11/1/14-10/31/15 and will be offered coverage as appropriate to be effective January 1, 2016

Tracking Hours

  • New policies and forms related to tracking hours in association with all service payments made through payroll went into effect November 1, 2015 and employment or payroll may be contacting your department to ensure they have the necessary information.

Service Hours

  • We may be contacting your department to provide us with service hours associated with non-hours based payments made during 11/1/14-10/31/15 (the current/first standard measurement period).

As this is a lot of new information, we understand that there may be questions. For department heads and assistants, an invitation has been sent out regarding the required HR Administrative Process Training being held next week where ACA information will be presented.

In addition, we are currently working on a FAQ section on the ACA webpage that we hope will be helpful. Send any ACA related question to