Aeronautical Repair Station Association

The Big 5-0

JP-Pic A June 16 Wall Street Journal article brings some exciting news: the Affordable Care Act is igniting a small boom in jobs! Unfortunately, those jobs are going to lawyers – lawyers who specialize in regulatory compliance, Medicare, and insurance.

ARSA recently created an issue page about the employer mandate section of the Affordable Care Act. This section of the law requires “large” businesses to provide healthcare coverage that is both minimally essential and affordable, or risk paying a penalty. The healthcare law involves a lot of math to determine whether the plans offered are affordable, what constitutes a full-time employee, and whether the company is, in fact, considered a large employer.

Ultimately the employer mandate comes down to one number: 50, the amount of “full-time equivalent” (FTE) employees on a large company’s payroll. FTE employees are those who work an average of 30 hours per week (130 total monthly hours); part-time employees’ hours will be converted into FTE employees to determine employer size and subjectivity to penalty (part-time employees are only used to determine a company’s size and are not guaranteed minimum essential coverage by large employers). Many ARSA members teeter on that line and must now make decisions regarding the growth of their businesses versus ensuring they can afford to provide the required health coverage to employees.

While some companies are staffing up on in-house legal counsel, I foresee many repair stations making sure their CFOs and accountants are up for the job. I believe in the spirit of the Affordable Care Act, but after the regulatory rollercoaster many companies are about to encounter, I can’t help but wonder if lawmakers’ next stab at healthcare reform might separate coverage from the employer.

Josh Pudnos is the communications manager at ARSA. He holds a master’s in Political Management from The George Washington University and a bachelor’s in Political Science & History from Texas A&M University.

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June 19th, 2013




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