Typically, under the Affordable Care Act, large employers must offer health insurance coverage to full-time employees who work more than thirty hours per week. On July 30, 2014, the House of Representatives introduced virtually identical bills that, if passed, would exempt student workers at colleges and universities from being considered "employees" under the Act, even if they work more than thirty hours per week. (H.R. 5262; H.R. 5298). As a result, educational institutions would not face penalties for failing to offer health coverage to students who fit the below definition and who work more than thirty hours per week.
In order for a student to qualify for the exemption as a "student worker" under H.R. 5262 and H.R. 5298, the student must be employed by the educational institution and be enrolled as a full-time student at the institution, as determined by the institution.
These bills stems from financial concerns on the part of educational institutions. Without the passage of these bills, educational institutions may incur potential penalties for failing to offer health coverage to a student worker who exceeds thirty hours of service per week. Consequently, these institutions could choose to cap or reduce the student worker's hours to avoid exposure to the potential penalties. If these bills pass, educational institutions would be less likely to put a ceiling on the number of hours that students may work.
As drafted, if these bills pass, they would have a retroactive effect and apply to student workers as of January 1, 2014.
The full text of the proposed bills can be found at: https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/hr5262/textand https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/hr5298