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National Restaurant Association - Translate health care buzzwords

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Translate health care buzzwords

The health care law of 2010 contributed dozens of new phrases to the vernacular. But National Restaurant Association's Health Care Knowledge Center can help you keep up with the lingo, as well as learn how the law affects your business. Translate the new terminology, discover timetables, read case studies and more.

Here are some examples:

Employer mandate: Beginning in 2014, employers must offer affordable "minimum essential coverage" to all employees who average at least 30 hours a week in a given month. The law applies to employers with at least 50 full-time-equivalent employees. If they don't comply, they face potential penalties. Part-time hours are used to determine the 50 FTE threshold, but the law doesn't require employers to offer part-time employees health care coverage. Employers won't be penalized for not offering affordable coverage to part-time workers.

Minimum essential coverage: The definition of this term is being determined through the regulatory process.

Individual mandate: The law requires every person legally present in the United States to obtain "minimum essential health care coverage" for themselves and their dependents. The requirement also starts in 2014. Those who don't comply must pay a penalty. Individuals can meet the requirement by participating in an employer-sponsored plan, buying individual policies, obtaining coverage under a state insurance exchange, or through Medicare, Medicaid, or other governmental programs.

Cadillac plans: Beginning in 2018, the law requires employees covered by the most expensive plans to pay a new 40 percent excise tax on the value of coverage that exceeds certain thresholds.

Full-time equivalents: Part-time employees hours are counted to determine a restaurant's FTE workers. Here's how to calculate your FTEs to meet the health care law requirements: Divide the number of hours worked by part-timers each month by 120 (the equivalent of a 30-hour work week). Then, add that figure to the number of full-time salaried and hourly employees.

"Although most employers are familiar with terms like full-time equivalent, those words have specific meanings in the context of the health care reform law," says James Balda, the NRA's chief marketing and communications officer.

Those terms are crucial to your ability to comply with the law, he noted.

"What you consider an FTE in your workplace may not be the same as what the federal government considers an FTE under the health care law," he says. "Like most laws, it's written in government-speak, so a guide to the terminology is critical."

This content was provided by NRA partner United Healthcare.

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