October 1st Healthcare Deadline for Congregations

An important message for all congregational presidents, administrator, rabbis, and executive directors: With the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, all URJ member congregations who employ staff, either on a part- or full-time basis, are required to fulfill a variety of requirements to ensure compliance with the law. These requirements are dependent on whether a congregation is considered to be a small or large employer.

Last June, the URJ partnered with Jennifer Mills, Esq., an employee benefits attorney with BakerHostetler, LLP, and Scott Bellin, a consultant with Alliant Benefits, to present an introductory webinar – Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act – What It Means To Your Congregation. This webinar provides an overview of the law, how both small and large (50 or more full-time equivalent* staff) employers may be affected, and a timeline/next steps guide.

On January 1, 2014, a new Health Insurance Marketplace will become operational, allowing all individuals to purchase private health insurance. Open Enrollment for the Marketplace begins October, 1, 2013. More information about the Marketplace and options for purchasing insurance is available at www.healthcare.gov.

Prior to October 1, all employers must notify employees about the Health Insurance Marketplace.

If your congregation does not offer a group health insurance plan, provide this notice – FLSAwithoutplans, to your staff.

If your congregation does offer a group health insurance plan, provide this notice – FLSAwithplans, to your staff.

As mentioned above, compliance with the ACA, as well as options for providing health insurance to staff, is different for small and large employers. Refer to the resources listed below for more information regarding your obligations and to determine whether you are a small or large employer.

Our tradition teaches us that human life is of infinite value. The Reform Movement believes that providing health care is an obligation of every society and community, and the preservation of life supersedes almost all other considerations. Informing your congregational staff of how this law will impact them is not just a legal responsibility – it’s also a mitzvah!

Please take steps to ensure the appropriate notice is provided to each of your staff and that your congregation meets the necessary requirements to comply with the changing landscape of health care coverage in the U.S.

*If you are unsure whether your congregation is considered a large employer, consult with your insurance carrier or broker to seek assistance in determining how many full-time equivalent staff you employ. This calculation includes everyone on your payroll – even the Hebrew tutor who may only work four hours per month.

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Barbara Saidel

About Barbara Saidel

Barbara Saidel is Chief Operating Officer of the Union for Reform Judaism. As Chief Operating Officer (COO), Saidel focuses on the URJ's underlying business strategies in order to deliver programs and services in the most efficient and cost-effective manner. She provides leadership, direction and hands-on management of operations and administrative activities and is responsible for managing IT, HR, Communications, Facilities, Meetings & Conventions, URJ Books and Music, the Camping System, and the MUM (Maintenance of Union Membership) Department.

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