Determining Benefits Eligibility for Seasonal Workers under the ACA
What Benefits are Seasonal Workers Entitled to?
Benefits administration under the Affordable Care Act, or ACA, is a challenging task for any company, from small businesses to large enterprises. Determining who is eligible and for what amount is a complex process. Adding seasonal workers and hourly workers to the process, and not just dealing with full-time employees, can increase the complexity of the process further.
One of the key concerns is whether or not seasonal workers can qualify for group employment benefits, such as those in the more affordable group medical coverage plans. With an effort in understanding and with the right team behind you, your company can navigate the different rules and regulations behind benefits regulation under the ACA.
How to Determine Benefits Eligibility for Seasonal Workers
Here is a rundown of the key points involved in determining benefits eligibility for seasonal workers.
1. Most laws on seasonal workers and the ACA apply to “large” companies.
Before you start reading through the entirety of the ACA, note that majority of the laws which govern over medical coverage for seasonal workers only apply to certain types of employers. Specifically, these stipulations only apply to “large” employers, as defined under the rules of the IRS.
In general, this would mean companies employing 50 or more people. The ACA defines “full-time” employees as those whose total work hours equate to 30 or more hours per week.
2. There is a difference between full-time “regular” workers and full-time “seasonal” workers.
Establishing an employee’s status given the ACA definitions involves reviewing how long they are expected to work in the company. Full-time seasonal employees are those who work 30 or more hours per week, and are expected to work at their position for a maximum of six months only.
If their actual period of employment lasts longer than the six months, they would still be called seasonal employees if the expectation of employment was less. This might occur when there is an unusually long winter season, which would extend the employment of someone who works at a ski resort, for example. But if their employment lasts longer than eight months, then they become eligible for medical coverage under the ACA.
You need not worry about offering them a healthcare plan if they would be employed for no more than six months.
3. Eligibility for medical coverage depends on their employee status and amount of hours worked.
Once your “seasonal” employees end up employed for up to or longer than eight months, they are then considered “regular” employees. Determining eligibility is now based on the aggregate amount of hours worked, rather than the amount of hours worked in a week.
This means that an employee working 180 hours over a month would be eligible for medical coverage, even if they work less than 30 hours on any particular week within that period.
Consult with ARCHER JORDAN to Know More about Benefits Eligibility
Compliance with the ACA is a must for any business. Though the process is complex and can be intimidating at first, all you need is the right team of benefits and insurance specialists with you.
ARCHER JORDAN is a third-party benefits administrator that has decades of experience in dealing with regulations and fringe benefits provision. Contact us today!