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Does ObamaCare Apply to My Nonprofit?

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Start counting—employees, that is. The federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, which is well known as "ObamaCare," imposes "pay or play" requirements on certain employers. Essentially, they must either provide minimum levels of health insurance coverage or pay monetary penalties for non-coverage. These requirements apply only to employers with at least 50 "full-time equivalent" employees. Consequently, many smaller employers need not be concerned about compliance with ObamaCare.

Once a nonprofit grows large enough to meet this numerical threshold, however, its leaders definitely need to be well acquainted with the law's more detailed legal requirements. Little room exists for creative interpretation of applicability requirements. Moreover, every built-in incentive exists for dealing conservatively with this law. In other words, the federal government wants larger employers to provide health insurance coverage, or else! Careful planning with an organization's health insurance professional is thus critical for ensuring legal compliance, particularly with respect to minimum coverage requirements.

For nonprofit employers with less than 50 full-time equivalents, health insurance coverage remains a valuable – but legally optional — pre-tax employee benefit. Typically, and under most health insurance contracts, coverage is available only to employees who work at least 30 hours per week. May all nonprofit workers be able to avail themselves of needed - and hopefully affordable - health insurance coverage, regardless of whether it comes through their nonprofit employers, ObamaCare's promised safety net, or otherwise.

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