Last month’s Supreme Court ruling upholding the Affordable Care Act paves the way for health care reform to move forward.

Resources are now available to help clarify what it means for aquatics professionals and discussions are ongoing in Aquatics International’s online network.

Aquatics International will be covering this important topic more fully in upcoming reports.

Meanwhile, here’s a thread from a post on the AI Linkedin Group:

Are others concerned about an issue with the Affordable Health Care Act that could significantly impact aquatic facility operators both public and private?

The Affordable Health Care Act requires that applicable large employers, or those employers who employ 50 or more full time employees or full time equivalents in a given month offer each full time employee health insurance and absorb at least 60% of the premium or face monetary penalties.

If an employer has over 200 employees, (full time + full time equivalents), they would be required to automatically enroll eligible employees who work over 30 hours per week. During the season, it is logistically impossible to keep a large majority of staff below the 30 hour work week requirement considering that this same staff does swim lessons, works parties and special events.

This includes qualifying high school and college-age employees who are usually on Mom and Dad’s policy. The employer would then have to approach each enrolled employee to determine if they would elect to opt-out of coverage. Once the employee elects to opt-out because they already have health insurance coverage, the employer would then have to administratively remove them from the sponsored health insurance plan.

As an example, we hire 1,500 lifeguards for primarily summer employment, in the off season we shrink down to 15 employees and thus are far below the threshold for offering health care, but factoring in the 1,500 as FTE’s and then the issue becomes very serious.

A pool season is generally 100 days long but the pre and post season needs to operate the facility cause us and others who operate pools to exceed the 120 days allowed for seasonal exemption.

How are you planning to cope with this issue?

Stay tuned to Aquatics International and AI Connect for more information and discussion.