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Posted: October 9, 2013
Last updated: August 22, 2017

What do I need to know about the ACA requirements?

Effective January 1, 2015, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires large employers (50 or more employees) such as UA to offer health insurance benefits to any employee averaging 30 work hours or more per week. This requirement is often referred to as the “employer mandate” of the ACA. Most UA employees working 30 hours per week are already offered health insurance benefits.  Therefore, UA meets this requirement with its benefits-eligible population.

For Non-Benefits-Eligible Employees at UA

Non-benefits-eligible employees do not receive a health benefits package from UA, and most represent a population of short-term employees who do not work 30 hours or more per week. 

ACA guidelines consider these employees "variable hour" employees.  At UA, variable-hour employees include

  • Ancillary Employees
  • Student Workers
  • Graduate Assistants/Associates
  • Adjunct Faculty

How to Determine Eligibility for Health Insurance for Variable Hour Employees

The ACA provides the following method to determine if a variable hour employee has reached the 30-hour-per-week threshold and should be offered health insurance:

For existing variable hour employees (active as of the start of the measurement period):

  • UA will “look back” at a 12-month measurement period to determine whether an employee AVERAGED 30 work hours per week.
    • The measurement period will begin on the first day of the pay period that includes October 15 each year.
  • If an employee works an average of 30 hours or more per week during the measurement period, he/she must be offered employer-sponsored benefits for a period of time in the future known as the stability period. The employee continues to receive employer-sponsored benefits regardless of hours worked during the stability period.
    • The stability period will be January 1–December 31 each year.
  • There is an administrative period between the measurement and stability periods. This is when the Division of Human Resources will determine and notify employees who have become eligible for employer-sponsored benefits and when these eligible employees will enroll for a January 1 effective date.
    • The administrative period will begin at the conclusion of the measurement period and continues until December 31 each year.

Current Measurement Periods

  • October 10, 2016–October 8, 2017
    • Employees who average 30 or more work hours per week during this time are eligible for benefits effective January 1, 2018.
  • October 9, 2017–October 7, 2018
    • Employees who average 30 or more work hours per week during this time are eligible for benefits effective January 1, 2019.

For new variable hour employees (hired after the start of a measurement period):

  • Each new employee will have an individual 11-month measurement period that begins on the first day of the pay period following the date of hire.  This "new hire" measurement period will be followed by a short administrative period and then a 12-month stability period.  The following October, the new employee will be included in a measurement period for existing employees, as described above.


  • Several dashboards in UAccess Analytics have been created to held departments or units monitor the employment of and hours worked by variable hour employees. 
  • For more information on available monitoring tools, click here.
  • Breaks in service or weeks without paid time reported can directly impact the average calculation. For more information and examples on how to calculate the average when time is not reported, click here.
  • For the history of previous measurement, administrative, and stability periods, click here.