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Affordable Care Act Overview for Texas State

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) is a set of health insurance reforms passed by the federal government. Effective January 1, 2015, the ACA required large employers such as Texas State University to offer affordable health insurance benefits to all full time employees. This requirement is often referred to as the “employer mandate” of the ACA and the fines for non-compliance are severe.

Employee Categories under the ACA

The ACA definition of full‐time is different than our current State of Texas statute. As such, we monitor benefits eligibility for our state benefit programs and eligibility for health insurance under the ACA using two differing standards. 

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The ACA standards center around a 30 hour work week for benefits eligibility as described in detail below, while the State of Texas allows eligibility for some benefits based on a 20 hour work week.

Measurement Periods

Measurement Periods as defined in the ACA are not calendar or academic years.  We have outlined the following measurement periods for our variable hour employees:

Hours are counted in whole calendar months.(E.g., an employee hired September 14, 2015 will have an initial measurement period of October 1, 2015 – September 30, 2016.)

They will then roll into the standard measurement period of July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017. These periods overlap July 1, 2016 – September 30, 2016, so hours worked during these months are counted toward both measurement periods.

Breaks in Service:

We have many rehires at Texas State. A break in service must be more than 26 consecutive weeks to begin a new measurement period. Contact HR if you are considering hiring a non-benefits eligible employee (NSNR) that was employed by Texas State within the last six months to determine if the break in service is required.

Policies and Procedures

Reports for Tracking Eligibility 

Human Resources currently runs reports for the 12-month look back period for variable hour employees. Departments will be notified if an employee is approaching the limit. 

We are also developing reports for departments to be able to monitor hours worked by all NSNR staff and student workers.


Questions may be directed to or contact a member of the Benefits staff at 245.2557.