Internships, Obamacare and Benefits

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Internships, Obamacare and Benefits

If you currently have interns, or are hiring some soon for a summer internship program, there's something you should know.

You might have to give them health benefits.

If an employer's interns work for more than 90 days and 30 hours a week, employers are mandated by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) to offer them health care.

Remember, any provision included in PPACA only applies to employers with 50 or more employees. If an employer is a couple employees close to the 50 employee benchmark and they enlist a few interns or seasonal employees who are employed for more than 30 hours a week and 90 days, they will be subject to PPACA.

Most employers recognize that internship programs are a great way to mine a valuable workforce resource: the energy of eager young people looking to get their foot in the door of the job market.

They also serve as a huge cost savings in salary overhead. The demand for professional experience, especially among those who have little of it, is very high, so many interns are willing to work for reduced pay.

It's worth noting the specific provision that birthed this rule was not intended to force employers to provide health care for their interns.

There is a positive side to this situation, however. The good news is that most interns are young and/or students and anyone listed as a dependent under the age of 26 can be covered by their parent or guardian's plan.

This means that when the employer has to offer their interns coverage, the intern might decline the coverage in many cases, as they could already have it.

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