I often get asked how the impact of the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act (PPACA) will affect the medical plan offered to employees at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (and informally as Obamacare), was signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010. The goal of the act is a health care law aimed at improving the health care system of the United States by widening health coverage to more Americans, as well as protecting existing health insurance policy holders.

Based on the statutes of ACA, Rensselaer is considered an applicable large employer. Beginning January 1, 2016, Rensselaer is required to offer affordable health coverage that provides a minimum level of coverage to full-time employees and dependents. If Rensselaer does not comply with the requirements of the ACA, Rensselaer is subject to a significant tax penalty.

The following steps have been taken to ensure compliance with the requirements of ACA. Faculty and staff who work 30 hours or more per week on average are provided health coverage; our medical plans cover more than 60 percent of the total allowed costs of benefits; and the health plans provided to faculty and staff are compliant with the market reform requirements of the ACA. Therefore, our employees are not entitled to receive a premium tax credit if they choose to buy a Marketplace plan.

The Affordable Care Act requires Rensselaer to report the cost of the health plan on Form W-2, the offer of health insurance coverage, and the enrollment in health insurance coverage (including dependents) on Form 1095-C that will be provided to all enrolled employees by January 31, 2016. The new Form 1095-C provides “proof” that Rensselaer is in compliance with the ACA and that employees will not be assessed a tax penalty. The Form 1095-C should be provided to your tax accountant when preparing your annual income tax return and the Form 1095-C will be sent directly to the IRS by Rensselaer.

The Division of Human Resources will continue to monitor and comply with the provisions of the Affordable Care Act and to provide our faculty and staff with a comprehensive and affordable health plan.


Curtis Powell, SPHR
Vice President for Human Resources