University Human Resource Services

Important Benefits and Work Hours Information Regarding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) (Email from Dr. Randy Howard dated Tuesday, December 3, 2013)

Subject: Important Benefits and Work Hours Information Regarding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA)

Dear Faculty and Staff,

As part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), also known as the Affordable Care Act, Ball State University has issued guidelines to begin preparations to comply with the Employer Shared Responsibility Rule (otherwise known as the "30-hour rule"), which will go into effect January 1, 2015.

The university followed several guiding principles in the review and clarification of its policies in light of the new law:

• Avoid any reduction of health care benefits for current benefits-eligible employees.
• Continue the university's commitment both to its employees and to fiscal stewardship, working within a constrained budget environment.
• Preserve the university's ability to temporarily adjust its workforce as deemed necessary to meet business demands and ensure that part-time and temporary employment does not exceed an average of 29 hours per week in compliance with the new law.
• Establish a 12-month measurement period (October 6, 2013, to October 5, 2014) to evaluate positions that may be eligible for medical/prescription coverage under the rule, effective January 1, 2015. Hours worked will be tracked either through Kronos, timesheets, or other time-reporting mechanism as deemed appropriate by the university. This measurement period will be used to identify positions that work an average of 30 hours of service or more per week or 130 hours of service per calendar month.

It is important to note that no employee or employee classification will lose health care benefits as a result of these guidelines. Furthermore, some part-time employees have been or will be reclassified as full-time staff or will be reclassified into positions that become eligible for medical and prescription benefits effective January 1, 2015.

Approximately 40 to 60 part-time service employee positions will be reclassified to "medical/prescription coverage" eligible positions effective January 1, 2015. The reclassified positions will require 30 to 39 hours of service per week. In addition, four part-time service positions in University Catering have also been reclassified to full-time positions.

Other part-time and/or temporary positions will now be limited to work an average of 29 hours per week maximum and will remain in non-benefits-eligible positions.

More than 81 percent of Ball State employees will remain unaffected by these changes, including any employee currently receiving university benefits. This includes all full-time tenure, tenure-track, and contract faculty; full-time professional, exempt staff, non-exempt staff, service, and affiliated staff personnel; and part-time contract faculty and part-time professional personnel.

The following summarizes the main changes to be adopted as part of these guidelines for the employee groups that will be affected by the Employer Shared Responsibility Rule.

Contract Semester Faculty
Contract semester faculty members (those who have employment contracts on a semester-by-semester basis) remain ineligible for benefits and are eligible to teach a maximum of 9 credit hours per semester based upon a reasonable method formula that 1 credit hour equals 3 hours of service. In the past, there was no maximum credit hour load. These faculty members may not be given additional or secondary assignments without prior approval from the provost. Such assignments will not exceed 2 hours per week.

Non-Exempt Part-Time Staff and Service Employees
Approximately 40 to 60 part-time service employee positions will be reclassified to "medical/prescription coverage" eligible positions effective January 1, 2015. The reclassified positions will require 30 to 39 hours of service per week. In addition, four part-time service positions in University Catering have been reclassified to full-time positions. The remaining part-time staff and service positions will be limited to work an average of 29 hours per week.

Temporary Employees
Temporary employees will be limited to work 29 hours per week.

Graduate, Doctoral Assistants and Assistant Hall Directors
Regardless of whether the graduate or doctoral assistant is assigned a 10- or 20-hour per week assistantship, graduate and doctoral assistants will be limited to working no more than 9 additional hours per week in an approved second job on campus. Depending upon the type of assistantship, the total maximum hours that can be worked during an academic year will be 29 hours per week. Assistant hall directors will be limited to work an average of 29 hours per week.

Student Resident, Community, and Multicultural Assistants
Student resident assistants, community assistants, and multicultural assistants will continue to be limited to work 20 hours per week or less.

In rare cases, because of the nature of their work, exceptions to these guidelines may be needed. In these cases, Human Resource Services will work with the affected department on a case-by-case basis. In addition, these proposed guidelines may be subject to change and will be further refined at such time when final regulations regarding the Employer Shared Responsibility Rule are issued.

Randall B. Howard
Vice President for Business Affairs and Treasurer