As you may know, the employer mandate to provide health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been delayed until 2015 for large companies (100 or more full-time equivalent employees) and until 2016 for midsize companies (50 to 99 employees). Although the mandate has been delayed, it is still important to develop a health care and employment strategy now to best prepare for the future. Even if you currently have under 50 full-time employees, it’s a good idea to formulate a strategy because your company could grow, forcing you to play or pay. How you schedule hours this year will determine if an employee is considered full time next year. It’s a good idea to put a policy in place to limit the hours of workers the business wants to keep part time. Without a policy, employees are more likely to cross the 30-hour threshold.
For purposes of calculating full-time status, you’ll also need to determine what time frame your company will use for the following periods:
- Look-back measurement period – No longer than 12 months and no shorter than three consecutive months to determine if an employee has full-time status and is eligible for health care coverage.
- Administrative period – Up to 90 days for employer to calculate and notify employees of full-time status, enroll/disenroll employees and carry out similar administrative tasks.
- Stability period – Once employees are notified of their full-time status, they will be considered full-time for a stability period that can be no less than six and no more than 12 months (and not longer than the measurement period, except in this first year), regardless of hours worked during this time. At the end of the stability period, the employer may again measure the employee’s status
As your HR team, BCN Services wants to help your company determine what approach to dealing with the ACA will work best for you.
Amanda Cline, HR Generalist