Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly known as Health Care Reform or Obamacare, there are a number of new requirements for employers that will require HR to track employee hours and report them to the federal government.
Employers with 50 or more employees are required to offer health care coverage to employees who work an average of 30 or more hours per week based on a measurement period. The law has no affect on the eligibility of employees currently in an employment category that is eligible for health care coverage. We have created this web page to help employees and supervisors understand the requirements and what actions, if any, they need to take.
Hours Tracking for Employees Not Eligible for GC Health Insurance
The Affordable Care Act includes requirements for employers to offer medical coverage to employees who work an average of 30 hours or more per week during a 12-month measurement period.
The standard measurement period for ongoing employees is the 12-month period that begins April 15 and ends the following April 14. The measurement period for new employees is their first 12 months of employment after which they will be measured by the standard measurement period. Full-time new employees do not have to wait for a measurement period, but will be offered health care on their start date.
In order to determine eligibility for medical coverage for non-full-time employees, HR will need to know the hours worked for several categories of employees who are not currently eligible for medical benefits. The categories of employees that we will be tracking include:
- Adjuncts/Instructors. HR will use a formula that applies a ratio of work hours to credit hours taught to determine whether an adjunct faculty member is eligible. The ratio Goshen College will use is 2.50 hours of credit for each credit hour taught. This crediting method takes into account time for preparation, teaching, grading, and similar activities needed to teach a course.
- Non-exempt employees not currently eligible; including student employees not eligible for work-study. HR will use hours submitted on timecards to determine eligibility. No employee or supervisor action is needed.
- Other categories. These include salaried employees who are paid a stipend (SST spouses, student club advisors, etc.) and exempt employees working less than .75 FTE. We will use an online form for those employees to report their weekly hours. HR will notify both employees and supervisors by email with instructions on how to use this method. Supervisors will be responsible to review the hours entered by the employees.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) For Employees Who Need to Track Time Worked
1. What types of employees are required to track their time using the new weekly online process?
Exempt (salaried) employees who are not currently eligible for GC health insurance. Examples include salaried employees who are paid a stipend (SST spouses, student club advisors, etc.) and exempt employees working less than .75 FTE. (Note: this does not affect those part-time employees who were grandparented in under our old plan requirements and are currently still eligible to receive GC medical insurance.)
2. Why do I need to track my hours?
Goshen College will be required to annually report to the federal government who is a “full-time employee” as defined in the Affordable Care Act. The ACA defines full-time as working on average 30 or more hours per week during a 12-month measurement period. We have no other way of determining how many hours are worked by exempt (salaried) employees who are not currently eligible for GC’s medical insurance and who are not adjunct faculty members teaching credit-bearing courses.
3. What is the process to report hours for the ACA?
HR will collect the information using a simple, online form located on the HR webpage at: https://mygc.goshen.edu/services/hr/ACA_Hours_Reporting. Please follow these steps each week beginning the Sunday ending your first week as an employee in your current position.
- Log into the ACA reporting website with your GC username and password. If you do not know your username or password, please contact the ITS Helpdesk at 535-7700.
- Click on the calendar icon and select the date for each day worked.
- Please use a decimal format, e.g., 8.0, 7.75, 3.25, etc. If you are not sure of the exact hours, estimate to the best of your ability. If you didn’t work any hours in a particular week, there is no need to enter anything.
- When you are done with your entries, click on Submit.
- If you want to make sure the hours were reported, click on the ACA Check Hours link.
- If you put in the wrong number of hours for a particular date, you can re-enter those and it will overwrite the old one.
- If you enter hours on the wrong date, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to notify us. We will have the incorrect date deleted.
Remember to report your hours each week until you are no longer working in a position where this is required or you terminate employment with the college. Note that your supervisor will be reviewing the hours you submit.
4. What time should I track for ACA purposes?
You should track all time spent working, including any time worked offsite.
- If you are required to travel to an offsite workplace, you should include those hours actually worked while traveling. For example, if you work while on an airplane, you should count the time worked.
- For employees who drive to an offsite workplace, only the driver should include the time spent driving.
5. What hours do I report if I am an adjunct or instructor teaching a credit bearing course?
HR automatically determines hours worked for adjuncts and instructors who teach credit-bearing courses using a formula based on the credit hours taught. The formula is 2.50 hours worked weekly per each credit hour taught. If you work additional hours other than your credit-bearing courses, for example, you are the advisor of a student club, then those hours need to be entered in the online form as out outlined above.
6. I am a student working a separate job on campus that is paid on an hourly basis. What hours do I report?
HR obtains your hours worked from the hours you submitted in your timecard. Only hours that are non-work-study are counted toward the 30-hour-per week standard required by the ACA.
7. Can an employee opt out of tracking if they have other medical coverage and don’t want GC’s medical benefits?
No. Goshen College will be required to report annually to the federal government who is and is not a “full-time employee” as defined by the Affordable Care Act (working on average 30 or more hours per week). We have no other way of determining hours worked by exempt (salaried) employees who are not currently eligible for GC’s health benefits and are not adjuncts teaching credit-bearing courses. The fact that you do or do not want or need GC’s medical benefits does not exempt you from reporting your hours on a weekly basis.
8. How does the Affordable Care Act affect me?
If you are already a full-time employee (.75 FTE or above), the ACA does not affect your eligibility or need to track hours. If an employee who is not currently eligible for GC medical coverage works on average 30 or more hours per week during the measurement period, GC will be required to offer medical coverage to you. We will contact any individuals in that category during the administrative period of April 15 – June 30.
9. I don’t have medical coverage right now. What can I do?
If you are an ongoing employee and do not have medical coverage, you may want to check into the new coverage offered through the government health exchange at https://www.healthcare.gov/. You will be required (under current law) to be covered by some type of insurance policy or pay a penalty.
New employees would immediately be eligible for coverage through the exchange. There are other qualifying events that allow employees to change their coverage, both under the GC plan and the private plans. Examples of qualifying events would be marriage, divorce, birth of a child, spouse loss of employment, etc.
FAQs for Supervisors of Employees Who Need to Track Time Worked
1. I am a supervisor of an employee who needs to report time for ACA purposes. Is there anything I am required to do?
Yes, you will be required to review the hours that the employee entered each week. HR will notify you of who those employees are. If you have questions or think there is an employee who should be using online tracking that HR has missed, please contact the HR office as soon as possible.
2. What do I tell new employees who are in categories that need to track hours?
HR will give new employees in these categories a handout and explain the requirement when they come to HR to complete new employee paperwork. If they are a returning employee, please refer them to this webpage. HR will also contact them with the information on how and when to track their time, and provide them with a copy of the required Health Insurance Marketplace Coverage Notice.
3. What is the formula used to determine hours worked for adjuncts and instructors teaching credit-bearing courses?
The formula GC is using is 2.50 hours worked per week for every credit hour taught. This crediting method takes into account time for preparation, teaching, grading, and similar activities needed to teach a course.
If you have any questions about the Affordable Care Act or the tracking requirements, please contact the Human Resources office at 535-7707. Note that the information provided in this webpage is HR’s current understanding of the Affordable Care Act regulations. Some of the information may change as changes occur or additional information becomes available.