ACA Open Enrollment: upload documents here

Helpful Links

Student hourly, Non-student Hourly, Graduate Assistants, Faculty/AP less than 50% FTE

Affordable Care Act (ACA)

Under the ACA, Colorado State University is required to offer health insurance to eligible variable-hour employees. Many employees are eligible for coverage based on their classification and full-time equivalency (FTE). Those who are not eligible under the university’s eligibility rules – but who worked an average of 30 or more hours a week during the applicable measurement period – may be eligible for coverage under the ACA. 

Eligible employees receive notice from Human Resources and can elect coverage under the University’s health plans. The coverage is for medical and prescription only, it does not include dental or vision benefits. Variable-hour employees include: student hourly, non-student hourly, graduate assistants, and Faculty/AP with an FTE of less than 50%. Review the ACA Guide to learn about eligibility and enrollment options. Please note: you may not enroll in the ACA plans if you are enrolled in CSU’s student health insurance. 

ACA Frequently Asked Questions

To comply with the ACA and ensure that all employees who average 30 or more work hours per week are offered health insurance benefits, the University is required to monitor the employment and hours worked by employees who are not benefits eligible.

For employees who work on average less than 30 hours per week, the University is required to use a Lookback Period, an Administrative Period and a Stability Period. The appointment percentage of time will be calculated by crediting the classes taught in a semester or by applying a reasonable, defensible and consistent computation for employees in the department. One mechanism to determine percent of time for employees in a classroom is to review the credit hours assigned for a particular academic semester or academic year. For positions that are administrative or research related, the department must determine a reasonable percent of time that is consistently applied. 

If an employee worked on average 30 or more hours per week during the 12 months lookback period, the University will make an offer of medical coverage to the employee during the 12 month stability period. The employee may receive medical coverage for the entire 12 month stability period regardless of the number of hours worked in this timeframe.

Human Resources will identify and notify those employees deemed to receive an offer of coverage due to meeting the 30 or more hour threshold a week. The employee must average 30 hours per week for the entire 12-month period. If an employee doesn’t respond to the enrollment requirement within the stated timeframe, employees will be defaulted into the Green medical plan, post-tax, employee only coverage.

Variable- hour employees  have the ability to obtain medical coverage through different sources, including maintaining coverage up to age 26 on a parent’s employer sponsored plan; purchasing individual coverage; maintaining enrollment in the Student Health Plan administered by CSU Health Network (premiums are not refundable and cannot be prorated and the graduate student health contribution cannot be applied towards the University’s employee medical plan) or purchasing a policy through the ACA Marketplace Exchange (eligibility criteria is specific to each referenced plan). 

If you wish to keep your current insurance plan, you may decline coverage on the enrollment form and return it to Human Resources. You must either elect medical coverage or decline coverage no later than the specified due date.

The US Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration requires CSU to provide a notice to variable hour employees (students, non-student hourly, graduate students) explaining their coverage options under the ACA health insurance Marketplace (effective Oct. 1, 2013). This notice informs of medical insurance options available through the marketplace, as well as information about coverage offered by CSU even if you are an employee who was either offered or enrolled in the Student Health Insurance Plan or a graduate receiving a health contribution from the graduate school.

No, but the number of hours worked should be incidental to achieve the education necessary for variable hour employees (students, non-student hourly, graduate students) to obtain a career in accordance with standards set by the IRS. The University supports employees working on campus and understands the importance of employment while attending school. Please know that if an employee is work-study eligible, the financial aid award governs the permissible hours that can be worked each semester.

A measurement period is a period of time during which we will look-back 12-months to see how many hours of service per week employees were credited on average. We will use that average to determine the eligibility OR continued eligibility for medical benefits for those employees.

A stability period is a period of time during which you will either be considered to be a full-time or non-full- time employee for purposes of your eligibility for medical benefits. If you are determined to be full-time during the immediately prior measurement period, you will be considered a full-time employee eligible for medical benefits for the immediately subsequent stability period. However, if you were determined not to be full-time during the immediately prior measurement period, then you will be considered a non-full-time employee who is not eligible for medical benefits for the immediately subsequent stability period, unless you have a change in employment status that causes you to become eligible for medical benefits. Eligibility for medical plan coverage at CSU does not mean that the offer of coverage must be accepted, as plan enrollment rules allow coverage to be declined, if the employee is enrolled on a comparable ACA qualifying medical insurance policy.

An administrative period is a period of time between the measurement period and the stability period, during which CSU will determine which variable hour employees (students, non-student hourly, graduate students) are eligible for coverage and notify those employees of eligibility. For ongoing employees, an administrative period occurs after the measurement period ends and before the associated stability period begins.

This administrative period will not reduce or lengthen your measurement period or stability period, and it will not be longer than 90 days. It will overlap with the prior stability period; so that, during the administrative period, you will still be offered medical benefits coverage until the new stability period begins, if you are considered to be a full-time employee (works on average 30 or more hours per week over 12-months).

For new variable hourly employees, the administrative period will not exceed 90 days in total. However, your initial measurement period and administrative period together will not extend beyond the last day of the first calendar month beginning on or after the first anniversary of your start date.

If you are an ongoing variable hour employee (students, non-student hourly, graduate students), CSU will track your hours of service based upon a measurement period from Oct. 15 through Oct. 14 of the subsequent year. This period is called a standard measurement period. If you average 30 or more hours of service per week during the standard measurement period, you will be classified as a full-time employee for purposes of medical benefits coverage during the next stability period. For example, if you are credited with an average of 30 or more hours of service per week from Oct. 15 through Oct. 14 of the subsequent year, CSU will classify you as a full-time employee for purposes of medical benefits coverage for the period beginning Jan. 1 through Dec. 31. You may then elect coverage effective Jan. 1 by timely completing the enrollment process communicated from Human Resources.

Graduate Assistants

Parental Leave

CSU recognizes the challenges of balancing the demands of a graduate assistantship and parenting a new child. To provide new parents with additional time off to adjust to their new family situation, CSU has implemented a Parental Leave program for eligible Graduate Assistants.

It is recommended to meet with your department head and discuss your options for taking Parental Leave. Full program details can be found on the Office of Policy and Compliance website or the Human Resources Manual.


Graduate Assistants who are enrolled full-time with a minimum .25 FTE assistantship for at least one semester. During the semester in which Leave is requested, the Graduate Assistant must be appointed with a minimum .25 FTE assistantship and be enrolled in the minimum number of Resident Instruction credits required to hold an assistantship. Eligible Graduate Assistants must also be in good academic standing while making satisfactory progress towards completion of their degree.

Birth mother, birth father, adoptive parents, Primary Caregivers*, Non-Primary Caregivers

*A Primary Caregiver is the one parent (including the child’s mother or father, or the spouse, domestic partner or civil union partner) who has primary responsibility for the care of a child immediately following the birth or adoption of the child into the custody, care and control of the parent for the first time.

Primary Caregiver: 6 weeks
Non-Primary Caregiver: 3 weeks

An eligible employee should first meet with their department head to notify them of the timing and duration of Leave. The department head will complete the Parental Leave Application and submit it to HR for approval. The parent must send the Medical Certification Form in the case of birth or a letter from the adoption agency in the case of adoption directly to HR. These forms must be completed at least 10 weeks before the birth or as soon as reasonably possible for an adoption.