Thursday, December 19, 2013

Affordable Care Act



What Does The Affordable Care Act (ACA) Mean To Me?
This seems to be the question of the day and understandably so. Have you asked yourself one of these questions lately?
Ø  Why do we need to do anything about the ACA?  What is the impact on our District?
Ø  How will the Affordable Care Act affect me on my job?
Ø  What is the timeline that will take place before it is fully implemented?
Ø  How will I be notified of the changes?
Ø  What has the District done to prepare for this change?
Ø  Are we the only organization that has to do something with the ACA?

I am certain  there are other questions that you may have, but these are the questions we hear the most. Understanding the Affordable Care Act can be a confusing task for a topic that is so important.

The information provided in this communication will shed some light on the subject and how it may directly affect you.  Let’s begin by answering the questions listed above.

Why do we need to do anything about this? What is the impact for our District?

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act  or the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law by the President on March 23, 2010. The purpose of the ACA is to increase the affordability and rate of health insurance coverage for all Americans.

The impact is that under the ACA provisions,  SDJ employees  who work thirty or more hours per week must be offered Board sponsored Health Benefits.  Currently Board sponsored Health Benefits are offered to those employees working thirty-five to forty hours per week. Employees currently working thirty to thirty-five hours per week can purchase the District’s Health Benefits by Wisconsin Law, but premiums are paid in full by the employee.

How will the Affordable Care Act affect me on my job?

Most District employees are not significantly affected by the Affordable Care Act because they are either hired in a full time position on a regular basis (35+ hours per week) or hired in a part time position on a regular basis (under 30 hours per week).  Positions that work variable hours (between 30 and 35 hours) are the positions subject to the Affordable Care Act provisions. 

The Administrative staff continues to work to provide an analysis of how many employees are  defined by the ACA to be full time and to provide scheduling and work hour recommendations to be put in place by July 1, 2014.


What is the timeline that will take place before it is fully implemented?

Timeline of the ACA implementation is as follows:
Ø  January through March 2014: Ongoing updates on the ACA plan and recommendations brought to the Personnel, Policy, and Curriculum Committee and Finance Committee.
Ø  April 2014:  Final ACA plan recommendation brought to the Board
Ø  May 2014:  Staff notified of assignments for 2014-2015 based on ACA plan
Ø  July 2014: ACA staff assignments go into place

How will I be notified of the changes?

SDJ staff affected by ACA will be notified by mail of any schedule changes to their work hours, prior to the fiscal year July 1, 2014.

What has the District done to prepare for this change?

The District has conducted an analysis of our variable employees and is currently preparing to update that data to reflect the 2013-2014 school year staff.  This analysis will provide an accurate picture of those positions that may qualify for insurance benefits under ACA rules.

 The District Administration continues to stay abreast of any changes to the Affordable Care Act and responds to those changes as needed.  Updates to the ACA regulations are provided to the Board of Education as well as to the employees through communications such as blogs and emails. 

The District Administration collaborates with principals on an on-going basis in filling positions in such a way that provides quality service but does not increase the number of variable employees

Are we the only organization that has to do this?

No, other Districts, municipalities, and other employers throughout the state of Wisconsin are also challenged with meeting the deadlines and the provisions of the ACA. This is not unique to the  School District of Janesville.


More to come………




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