Full-time Employee 

ALE – Applicable Large Employer

A full-time employee for any calendar month is an employee who has on average at least 30 hours of service per week during the calendar month, or at least 130 hours of service during the calendar month.

Full-Time Equivalent Employees

An employer determines its number of full-time-equivalent employees for a month in the two steps that follow:

  1. Combine the number of hours of service of all non-full-time employees for the month but do not include more than 120 hours of service per employee, and
  2. Divide the total by 120.

An employer’s number of full-time equivalent employees (or part-time employees) is only relevant to determining whether an employer is an ALE.  An ALE need not offer minimum essential coverage to its part-time employees to avoid an employer shared responsibility payment.  A part-time employee’s receipt of the premium tax credit for purchasing coverage through the Marketplace cannot trigger an employer shared responsibility payment.

Blue Cross Explanation – it seems verbatim

Basic ALE Determination Examples

Example 1 – Employer is Not an ALE

  • Company X has 40 full-time employees for each calendar month during 2016.
  • Company X also has 15 part-time employees for each calendar month during 2016 each of whom have 60 hours of service per month.
  • When combined, the hours of service of the part-time employees for a month totals 900 [15 x 60 = 900].
  • Dividing the combined hours of service of the part-time employees by 120 equals 7.5 [900 / 120 = 7.5]. This number, 7.5, represents the number of Company X’s full-time-equivalent employees for each month during 2016.
  • Employer X adds up the total number of full-time employees for each calendar month of 2016, which is 480 [40 x 12 = 480].
  • Employer X adds up the total number of full-time equivalent employees for each calendar month of 2016, which is 90 [7.5 x 12 = 90].
  • Employer X adds those two numbers together and divides the total by 12, which equals 47.5 [(480 + 90 = 570)/12 = 47.5].
  • Because the result is not a whole number, it is rounded to the next lowest whole number, so 47 is the result.
  • So, although Company X has 55 employees in total [40 full-time and 15 part-time] for each month of 2016, it has 47 full-time employees (including full-time equivalent employees) for purposes of ALE determination.
  • Because 47 is less than 50, Company X is not an ALE for 2017.

Example 2 – Employer is an ALE

  • Company Y has 40 full-time employees for each calendar month during 2016.
  • Company Y also has 20 part-time employees for each calendar month during 2016, each of whom has 60 hours of service per month.
  • When combined, the hours of service of the part-time employees for a month totals 1,200 [20 x 60 = 1,200].
  • Dividing the combined hours of service of the part-time employees by 120 equals 10 [1,200 / 120 = 10]. This number, 10, represents the number of Company Y’s full-time-equivalent employees for each month during 2016.
  • Employer Y adds up the total number of full-time employees for each calendar month of 2016, which is 480 [40 x 12 = 480].
  • Employer Y adds up the total number of full-time equivalent employees for each calendar month of 2016, which is 120 [10 x 12 = 120].
  • Employer Y adds those two numbers together and divides the total by 12, which equals 50 [(480 + 120 = 600)/12 = 50].
  • So, although Company Y only has 40 full-time employees, it is an ALE for 2017 due to the hours of service of its full-time equivalent employees.

Additional examples can be found in section 54-4980H-2 of the ESRP regulations.

Learn More ⇒ IRS.Gov

 

A new law requires companies to include full-time and full-time-equivalent employees when determining group size

On January 1, 2016, California state law went into effect which redefined “small employer” to include groups of up to 100 employees. The determination of employer group size must be made annually and groups must adhere to the method for counting full-time employees and full time equivalent employees outlined in Section 4980H(c)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code. The definition of large group requires the group to have a combined total of at least 101 full-time and full-time-equivalent employees.

An example of how to determine whether a company is a small group for the purpose of purchasing group coverage is provided below. The methodology considers both full-time employees and full-time-equivalent employees.

  • Company Y has 40 full-time employees for each calendar month during 2015.
  • Company Y also has 20 part-time employees for each calendar month during 2015, each of whom has 60 hours of service per month.
  • Now, combine the hours of service of the part-time employees for a month: [20 x 60 = 1,200].
  • Dividing the combined hours of service of the part-time employees by 120* equals 10 [1,200/120 = 10]. This number, 10, represents the number of Company Y’s full-time equivalent employees for each month during 2015.
  • Company Y adds up the total number of full-time employees for each calendar month of 2015, which is 480 [40 x 12 = 480].
  • Company Y adds up the total number of full-time equivalent employees for each calendar month of 2015, which is 120 [10 x 12 = 120].
  • Company Y adds those two numbers together and divides the total by 12, which equals 50 [(480 + 120 = 600)/12 = 50].

In this example company Y meets the size criteria for a small group because the total number of full-time and full-time equivalent employees for at least 50 percent of the preceding calendar year equals 50. Groups must consider additional IRS rules in making their final determination of whether the group is large or small, and some exceptions may apply.

On the Master Group Application for Small Business be sure to fill in Section 2, #8f. (In the scenario above, the number to fill in is 50 FTE and FTE Equivalent.) See the highlighted areas of section 2, page 2 of the application below.

* The number of 120 is stipulated by Internal Revenue Code 4980H(c)(2): “. . . in addition to the number of full-time employees for any month otherwise determined, include for such month a number of full-time employees determined by dividing the aggregate number of hours of service of employees who are not full-time employees for the month by 120”.

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