Human Resources
Finance & Administration

Expanding Access To Medical Insurance - The Employer Mandate

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The Affordable Care Act requires Lehigh to offer affordable health care coverage to full-time employees (as defined by the law) beginning January 1, 2015, or to pay an assessment to the government for not doing so. By the same token, individuals also share the responsibility for enrolling in a medical insurance plan, whether through their employer or through the Marketplace or other mechanism. 

Determining "Full Time" Status

At Lehigh, we have traditionally provided benefits to classified staff and faculty working 75 percent effort. The ACA has special, complex rules for determining whether an employee is "full time" (and therefore eligible for employer-provided health insurance). In general, for ACA compliance purposes, full-time employees are those who work an average of 30 hours or more per week over the course of a measurement period (a six-month period in the first year and a 12-month period each year thereafter).

A team including representatives from Human Resources, the Controller's Office, the Provost's Office and the Office of the General Counsel have conducted a review of all student workers, wage employees, and adjunct instructors to determine who is entitled to medical insurance coverage. For the first year of coverage, they used the period of July 1, 2014 through December 31, 2014 to measure hours worked. Next year and thereafter, they will use the full twelve month period of January 1 through December 31.

Offers Of Coverage

  • Lehigh will be offering medical insurance coverage to all employees meeting the ACA definition of full time for the 2015 plan year. Those who were identified during the measurement period this year will receive direct communication with an offer of coverage in mid-December.
  • For more information on the medical insurance options offered by Lehigh to those meeting the criteria, please read the 2015 Medical Insurance Enrollment and Reference Guide. The guide includes monthly premium costs, summary benefit charts, and other important information regarding the four plan options available.
  • If you did not receive an offer of coverage and believe you are eligible, please contact Toni Lee Febbo, Director of HR Services.

Administrative Oversight

In order to continue complying with the ACA, it's vital to ensure proper recordkeepig of hours worked by students, wage employees and adjunct instructors. Staff members responsible for tracking hours for such employees in their departments will be receiving training and additional support so that Lehigh can maintain reliable records.

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