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FAQ - Affordable Care Act (ACA)

What benefits will I be eligible to enroll in should I be determined to be full-time under the Affordable Care Act (ACA)?

Faculty and staff who are determined to be full-time for ACA purposes will be offered the option to enroll in SHBP medical and prescription drug plans. Other benefits, such as dental plans, education benefits, and other State and non-State benefits are not impacted by the ACA.

Can I cover my spouse and children in the medical and prescription drug plans?

Yes; eligible dependents for SHBP coverage include spouses, same-sex domestic partners or civil union partners, and children.

What will I be required to contribute for the coverage?

Faculty and staff enrolled in SHBP coverage via the ACA will contribute towards the coverage according to Chapter 78, N.J. P. L. 2011, the same as all full-time University employees. Contributions are based on annual salary, plan selected, and dependents covered. For an estimate on monthly contributions, use the Employee Health Benefits Calculator.

I have been notified by UHR that I am eligible for health coverage via the ACA. When will my coverage be effective?

In accordance with both SHBP regulations and restrictions on length of waiting periods under the ACA, newly hired employees who are expected to work 30 or more hours in regularly appointed positions will be offered coverage after a 60-day waiting period. Those found eligible via the annual SMP will be offered coverage effective each January 1.

How are multiple assignments taken into account for measuring hours for the ACA?

Hours worked across all assignments will be aggregated and used to measure full-time status under the ACA each year, with the exception of Federal Work Study hours as exempted under the legislation. For example, a Part-Time Lecturer teaching 6 credits in one department and 6 credits in another department would be measured as having taught 12 credits in the semester.

I currently have SHBP coverage at the University because I am full-time in an eligible position. How do these changes impact me?

These changes in procedure have no impact on you as long as you remain full-time in a benefits-eligible position.

How does the ACA allow colleges and universities to measure hours for Part-Time Lecturers and Per Diem Faculty?

The IRS provided clarification and guidance as it related to the measurement of adjunct faculty hours. In reviewing this guidance, the University will apply 3 hours per week per credit taught in the semester. For example, if a Part-Time Lecturer teaches a 3-credit course in one department and a 6-credit course in another department, 27 hours per week will be applied to their measurement for that semester.

How does the university address semester break in calculating ACA benefits-eligibility for academic year employees?

Under the ACA, institutions of higher education do not consider any short work break of more than four consecutive weeks during which an employee is not working when determining the average hours of an employee. Therefore, if an employee is on the academic year schedule and does not work in the summertime, the lack of hours during the summer break would not be used to bring down the employee’s average workweek hours over the rest of the measurement period.