About the Affordable Care Act (ACA)

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Health Care Reform law, is federal legislation passed in 2010. This law is complex, multi-faceted and has an impact on both employers and individuals.

Employer Impact
The law requires that employers with 50 or more full-time employees - like the university - offer medical insurance to full-time employees and their children up to age 26. As you know, Baylor University (BU) has long endeavored to provide quality, affordable medical insurance to benefit-eligible faculty and staff and is committed to continue with this provision. Very few changes to BU’s offering have been required as a result of the law. Our current medical plan is fully compliant with all of the coverage requirements of the ACA.

Individual Impact
The law requires that most Americans have medical insurance as of January 1, 2014. The law also requires that Americans have access to medical insurance they can afford - whether they get it from an employer, an insurance company or from the government. You can access information about the ACA at www.healthcare.gov. Visit the ACA FAQS to learn more. If you believe you, or another employee, are eligible for medical coverage, but were not offered coverage, please contact askHR@baylor.edu or extension 2000 to request a review of your eligibility.

Current Benefit-Eligible Faculty and Staff
Per BU policy, benefit-eligible employees are A) those faculty and staff who are scheduled to work 30 or more hours per week (for faculty, this equates to teaching 9 or more credit hours per semester); and B) hired/assigned to work more than 90 days. BU's eligibility rules are ACA compliant.

Current Benefit-Eligible faculty and staff who have 'waived' medical coverage
Benefit-eligible faculty and staff as defined above and who have waived medical coverage, may always have the opportunity to enroll in medical insurance during the annual open enrollment period (generally, the month of November) and/or within 30 days of a qualifying life event. If you are benefit eligible and are not receiving medical insurance from another source, like your spouse’s or parent’s plan, the BU medical plan may be your best option for coverage.

Current Non-Benefit-Eligible Staff
Staff whose regular assignment is less than full-time and may or may not work a set schedule and whose hours may vary are referred to in the health care law as "variable-hour" employees. Variable-hour employees who work an average of 30 hours or more per week in one or more jobs over a measurement period must be offered access to the employer medical plan, although they may decline or waive the coverage. BU is using a 12 month measurement period which complies with the ACA regulations.

Adjunct Faculty and Other Academic Appointments
Adjunct faculty and other part-time academic personnel at BU rarely work more than part-time; their jobs by definition are part-time. Adjunct faculty and other academic appointments who work an average of 30 hours or more per week over a measurement period (determined by the employer in compliance with the ACA regulations) must be offered access to the employer medical plan, although they may decline or waive the coverage.

The formula that BU uses to determine benefit eligibility for adjunct and part-time faculty complies with the ACA guidelines. Every course credit hour taught equals 3.33 hours worked. That means a 3-credit-hour course is equivalent to 10 hours of work per week, or .25 Full Time Equivalent (FTE). Nine hours taught is equivalent to 30 hours worked, or .75 FTE. The 3.33 hours is intended to represent teaching, preparation and office hours required to teach one credit hour.

If you have any questions regarding your eligibility for medical insurance under the ACA rules, please contact Human Resources.

Student Workers, Graduate Assistants, Teachers of Record and Student Researchers
This refers to workers whose primary relationship to the university is as a student. The majority of student workers do not average 30 hours per week; in fact, most work significantly less than that in order to focus on their academic programs. Federal Work Study hours do not apply to this law. Student workers who work an average of 30 hours or more per week in all jobs over the measurement period must be offered access to the employer medical plan, although they may decline or waive the coverage.

All hours of service for which a student employee of the university is paid or entitled to payment in a capacity other than through the federal work study program (or a State or local government’s equivalent) are required to be counted as hours of service.

Notice of Coverage Options (Marketplace Notice)
As part of the Affordable Care Act, employers are required to provide faculty and staff a notice of the availability of a Health Insurance Marketplace (also called an Exchange) where individuals may purchase health insurance.