I often get questions about how the impact of the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act 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 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.


Curtis Powell

Rensselaer is considered an applicable large employer (ALE) under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Since January 1, 2015, 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 will be 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; the cost of our coverage is affordable based on the “rate of pay” safe harbor; and the health plans provided to faculty and staff are compliant with the market reform requirements of the ACA. Therefore, our full-time employees generally are not entitled to receive a premium tax credit if they choose to buy a Marketplace plan.

Thus, Rensselaer will provide all full-time regular employees with a Form 1095-C no later than February 15, 2016. If you were enrolled in Rensselaer’s health coverage, the Form 1095-C is “proof” that you and your family members had minimum essential coverage as defined by the Affordable Care Act during the 2015 tax year. A copy of this form is to be provided to your tax preparer. However, if you prepare your own taxes, you will need to refer to the information on the form as you prepare your tax return.

For more information regarding the Form 1095-C, please see Frequently Asked Questions.

Curtis N. Powell, SPHR
Vice President for Human Resources