Benefits and Compensation

Managing Employee Status Changes Under the Affordable Care Act

By Jennifer Carsen, JD, Senior Legal Editor

So, you think you’ve got a pretty good handle on this whole Affordable Care Act (ACA) thing. You know that you’re an applicable large employer (or ALE—and that “ALE” isn’t merely that thing you want to drink a lot of after a day of filling out ACA paperwork).

Yes, sir (or ma’am)—you’re in pretty darn good shape indeed! And kudos to you for it.

But what still throws a monkey wrench into the works is when an employee’s status changes—which, if you’ve been in HR for longer than 8 minutes, you know happens all the time:

  • Your star seasonal employee gets bumped up to full-time, year-round status
  • A longtime full-time employee drops down to part-time
  • Someone leaves … but then comes back
  • And so on

For even the most ACA-savvy HR professional, it’s enough to make you want to cry into your ALE.

But help is here. Read on for our Plain-English translation of the change-of-status rules under the ACA for three common scenarios.

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