Over the past several months Winthrop employees may have heard a great deal of public conversation regarding the Affordable Care Act. The individual mandate is a provision of the federal health law that requires Americans to have health insurance in 2014 or pay a penalty. That coverage can be supplied through an individual’s work, public programs such as Medicare or Medicaid, or an individual policy. As a result of the health law is setting up online health insurance marketplaces, also known as exchanges, will be available on October 1, 2013 to help individuals shop for plans. Winthrop University is required to notify all employees of the coverage options that may be available to them in the Health Insurance Marketplace at www.HealthCare.gov, and provide the attached document that contains New Health Insurance Marketplace Coverage Options. These options will be available for coverage beginning January 1, 2014.
Hopefully, most of your questions will be answered here. If you have additional questions about the information regarding the Health Insurance Marketplace, please visit www.HealthCare.gov. Other questions may be directed to HRHelp@winthrop.edu. Why am I receiving this notification? Employers are required to notify each employee of the New Health Insurance Marketplace Options no later than October 1, 2013. Information about healthcare options will be available at www.HealthCare.gov on October 1, 2013 with coverage to begin as early as January 1, 2014. What is the new Health Insurance Marketplace? The marketplace provides insurance options to:
What does this information mean for me? If you wish to stay enrolled in your current health insurance plan there is no action needed. Otherwise, beginning on October 1, 2013, you may review the options that will be available to you in 2014 at www.HealthCare.gov. I am a temporary or student employee and have not been eligible for health insurance offered to Winthrop/state employees through South Carolina PEBA (Public Employee Benefits Authority). Does this mean that I am now eligible for health coverage under one of the state health plans? No, at this time, the eligibility status of any Winthrop employee has not changed. How do I know if I am eligible for health insurance as a Winthrop/state employee? Generally, temporary employees and students are not eligible for health insurance under one of the state health plans offered through South Carolina PEBA (Public Employee Benefits Authority). Eligible employees include: regular faculty and staff who work at least 30 hours per week and who occupy an FTE. In most cases, employees who work at least 30 hours per week and who accrue annual and/or sick leave are eligible for all employer sponsored benefits, including health insurance. If I have questions about the plans offered in the Health Insurance Marketplace or how to enroll in one of the health plans, who should I ask? The www.HealthCare.gov website includes links to additional information. Unfortunately, the Benefits Administrators in Winthrop’s Human Resources Office do not have additional information regarding the plans offered through the marketplace. Employees who have questions about their current coverage offered through South Carolina PEBA (Public Employee Benefits Authority) may email their questions to HRHelp@winthrop.edu. If I enroll in health insurance through the marketplace, can I arrange for the monthly premium payment to be deducted from my pay check? No, only premium payments for one of the plans offered through South Carolina PEBA (Public Employee Benefits Authority) are payroll deducted. If I enroll in health insurance through the marketplace, will Winthrop pay an employer portion of the monthly premium amount? No, Winthrop is not responsible for paying a portion of the monthly premium payment for health insurance purchased through the marketplace. Winthrop will continue to pay the employer portion of the monthly premium for eligible employees enrolled in one of plans offered by South Carolina PEBA (Public Employee Benefits Authority). Part A of the New Health Insurance Marketplace Coverage Options notice states that I may be eligible for a tax credit through the marketplace if I am eligible for health coverage through my employer, and if the coverage that my employer provides does not meet the “minimum value” standard set by the Affordable Care Act. Does the coverage provided to Winthrop employees who are currently eligible for health insurance through South Carolina PEBA (Public Employee Benefits Authority) meet the “minimum value” standard? Yes, the Standard Health Plan and the Savings Health Plan offered to eligible Winthrop employees through the South Carolina PEBA (Public Employee Benefits Authority) do meet the “minimum value” standard set by the Affordable Care Act.