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Fourth ACA Alert

Action to Complete by October 1, 2013

  • Complete and give the Department of Labor (DOL) notice to your employees by October, 1, 2013.
  • Download the Department of Labor Notice from their website (PDF, 3 pages). NOTE: If you do not offer health insurance to ANYONE on your staff, you may use the alternate Notice for employers who do not offer coverage.
  • Complete one copy of the Notice for every person you currently employ, regardless of how many hours they work.  Follow this sample (PDF) which shows how you would answer the questions as an employer that offers the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) Health Plan. 
  • If you offer some other insurance, you will have to consult with your insurance company to determine if their plan meets minimum coverage standards.
  • If you participate in the UUA Health Plan, you can use the Rate Calculator found here to calculate the employee-only cost of the least expensive plan you offer (the High deductible Plan if you offer it, the Standard PPO if that is your only offering).
  • Once you have found the least expensive employee-only rate, net out the contribution you make (or would make if the employee elected UUA Health Plan coverage).
  • Compare the employee’s net cost to their most recent pay rate. If you want to average their pay over time, use their most recent W2. If their net cost is less than  9½% of their pay, your plan is affordable.

Other Things You Should Know

  • Compliance: The Department of Labor announced that no employer will be penalized for not giving out the Notice. In effect, this means that compliance is voluntary.
  • However: The Notice is the first step in informing employees of their ability to purchase health insurance from their state Exchange. You may have staff members who qualify for subsidized insurance if they meet the family income requirements. Generally speaking, you do not know all the details of your employees’ family situations.
  • Consequence: Withholding this information may prevent employees from seeking the subsidized insurance they may need.

How long will it take me to fill out Notices for our employees?

  • We estimate that it will take you 5 minutes or so per form.

Penalties

  • There is no penalty for the congregation if an employee chooses to be covered by an Exchange plan.

Tell your Employees This

  • Assuming that your congregation is not dropping all of its health insurance and sending everyone to the Exchange for coverage, you need to tell staff that they may continue their present insurance.
  • Also, that if they purchase an Exchange policy, you will no longer contribute toward the cost. This provision is explained on the Notice as well.

Additional Preparation

  • Read all of the information our office has posted. If you can’t answer a question, email us healthinsurance@uua.org, for help.

Congregational Board Action

  • Every congregation has to make some basic decisions about offering health insurance. The advent of Exchanges and the mandate on employees to enroll in a qualified health plan change the entire landscape of health insurance.
  • Between now and November 1, when open enrollment for the UUA Health Plan begins, congregations have to decide where they stand.

The above information is provided to assist congregational leaders, religious professionals, and other staff in their decision-making.  However, the staff members of the UUA Office of Church Staff Finances are not attorneys or accounting professionals, and we encourage congregations to seek the services of their own advisers in dealing with unusual cases or individual circumstances.

For more information contact healthinsurance@uua.org.

This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations. Please consider making a donation today.

Last updated on Thursday, September 26, 2013.

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