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Health Care Reform

EXCHANGE NOTICE REQUIREMENT

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires all employers to distribute a notice about the new Health Insurance Marketplaces (often called “Exchanges”) to all full-time and part-time employees – whether or not they are covered in the employer’s health plan. Employers are not required to send the notice to seasonal or temporary staff.
 
Under the ACA, the “employer” is the salary-paying unit – typically the church or ministry where one works on a day-to-day basis. This applies even if the annual conference administers health benefits, and even for clergy who are considered “self-employed” for employment tax (SECA) purposes.
 
The General Board of Pension and Health Benefits has provided additional information regarding the requirement. Click here to read UMC Local Churches – Required Notification to All Employees.
 
EXCHANGE NOTICE COVER LETTER (Optional)
Please personalize this Generic Letter and use as a cover letter (printed on your church letterhead) for sending to clergy and lay employees with the Notice. 
 
NOTICE TEMPLATES
Please choose and download the notice form entitled "New Health Insurance Marketplace Coverage Options and Your Health Coverage" that best suits your situation as an employer:
 
Notice for employers that offer a health plan to some or all of its employees:

Notice for employers that do not offer a health plan:

ACA Notice Requirement - A guidelines summary to help you complete the template form.

For any questions or problems downloading forms, please email bgibbs [at] wocumc.org (subject: Health%20Care%20Reform) (Beth Gibbs)

 
Additional Web Resources
General Board’s health care reform web page:
 
General information about health care reform:
 

Conference Information

It is important to understand that your annual conference maintains a rule whereby local churches are required to cover [full-time & 3/4 time] appointed clergy in the annual conference health plan. This rule remains in effect despite establishment of the Exchanges under the ACA and the potential availability of PTCs for clergy. The annual conference’s policy is in place to maintain equity in benefits and costs across many local churches’ clergy in the conference. The conference is studying the impact of the ACA and Exchanges on its health coverage strategy for the future and will inform you if conference policies change as a result.

General ACA Information

The ACA (Affordable Care Act) establishes health benefit Exchanges (“health insurance marketplaces”) in every state. Exchanges will have web portals through which individuals can purchase health insurance coverage. 
 
The ACA provides federal subsidies (premium tax credits or PTCs) to assist lower- and middle-income taxpayers with purchasing coverage through the Exchanges. To be eligible for a PTC, an individual must have a household income for the taxable year between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level for the individual’s family size (estimated between $12,000 and $48,000 for an individual, or between $24,500 and $98,000 for a family of four in 2014). Household income is the modified adjusted gross income on IRS Form 1040 or “total income” on IRS Form 1040EZ).
 
However, PTCs are not available to anyone who is offered employer coverage that: 1) covers a minimum value as established by the ACA, and 2) is affordable to them, meaning the employer plan does not cost the individual employee more than 9.5% of his or her MAGI for self-only coverage. Coverage of this sort is offered through the West Ohio health care plan.
 
Please note: The annual conference is providing these materials as an informational and educational service to its local churches and other salary-paying units (employers). This information should not be read to imply that the annual conference is the employer of any employees receiving the Notice from local churches. The materials should not be construed as, and do not constitute, legal advice or other professional advice on any specific matter. The annual conference expressly disclaims all liability in respect to actions taken or not taken based on the contents of this update.