Memos

New Benefits Eligibility Rules Take Effect in Connection with the Affordable Care Act (ACA)

Monday, December 15 2014

 

To:     Business Officers, Administrative Assistants and PPS Preparers

Fr:      Cindy Doherty, Director, Academic Personnel
           Cynthia Seneriz, Acting Director, Human Resources

Re:     New Benefits Eligibility Rules Take Effect in Connection with the Affordable Care Act (ACA)

On November 1, 2014, new benefits eligibility rules took effect for UC staff and academic employees that have historically been excluded from benefits eligibility.  The new benefits eligibility rules require that employees averaging 30 hours/week during the measurement period (November 1, 2014 through October 31, 2015) will be eligible for benefits coverage beginning January 1, 2016 and throughout the 2016 calendar year.  The following employment arrangements may be impacted by the new 30 hours/week average rule mandated by the ACA.

  • Students employed under appointment type “casual-restricted.” (Hours paid under Federal Work Study programs are excluded from the 30 hours/week average calculation.)
  • Graduate Student employees with cumulative appointments that average 75% time or greater
  • Staff employed under “per diem” appointments
  • Academic, staff, and students employed and paid under a “by agreement” arrangement

This change may result in a benefit cost impact to your department in calendar 2016 and beyond if employees in the above categories meet the benefits eligibility criteria during the measurement period.    In order to comply with the ACA mandate, a methodology will be needed to associate hours with any position not paid on an hourly basis (i.e., “by agreement” arrangements), and as a result, a new DOS code will be implemented to capture hours in the Payroll/Personnel System (PPS). 

This information is being shared as a preliminary notice of the change in benefits eligibility rules that will impact employee benefit coverage beginning January 1, 2016 and beyond.  We recognize that there are many implementation details that will need to be addressed, including PPS instructions, and those will be forth coming from the Office of the President.  We will share those as soon as they become available.

In the meantime, if you have questions, please contact Lisa Romero, Benefits Manager at extension 5163 or by email at lisa.romero@hr.ucsb.edu.

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