Employer Shared Responsibility

Under U.S. health care reform, as of January 1, 2016, the university offers medical benefits to all employees who average at least 30 hours per week over a 12-month period, regardless of regular or temporary employment status. This expansion of coverage is required by the Employer Shared Responsibility (ESR) provision of the Affordable Care Act. The ESR provision requires access to medical benefits for all employees, both regular and temporary, who work “full time,” which is defined for medical benefits purposes as at least 30 hours per week on average.

How does it work at U-M?


As of January 1, 2016, temporary employees who average at least 30 hours per week over a 12-month measurement or tracking period are offered enrollment in the U-M health plans. Enrollment is made available to eligible employees within 30 days after the end of the employee’s measurement period. Ongoing employees' hours are tracked each year from October 15 to October 14 to determine eligibility effective the following January 1. Hours are tracked for new employees over their first 12 months of employment, and thereafter from October 15 to October 14.

Employees who hold multiple appointments at U-M have their eligibility based on the total number of hours worked within the university, not just a single department. This includes employees who may work in a regular position with less than a 50% appointment who also have a temporary appointment.

Other employees may also qualify for new or continued coverage under ESR based on individual circumstances, such as benefits-eligible employees who experience a reduction in hours or who return to employment with the university after a break in service of less than 26 weeks.

Review our Guidelines for Employees, or see Questions and Answers for more detailed information about eligibility and enrollment.


In partnership with units, the Benefits Office is responsible for identifying employees who are considered eligible for medical benefits. These employees will receive an offer of coverage. Departments and units are responsible for paying the university contribution to benefits for qualifying employees who enroll in coverage.

If an employee holds multiple appointments during a 12-month period, the average of all hours worked for the university is used to determine eligibility for medical benefits. Each department is responsible for paying a share of the university contribution to benefits proportional to the employee’s earnings from that department.

Review Guidelines for Administrators or browse training materials.


For more information, please refer to the detailed Questions and Answers.The Benefits Office will update the page periodically as procedures develop and new information is available.

If you still have questions, please call the SSC Contact Center at 5-2000 (option 1) from the Ann Arbor campus, (734) 615-2000 (option 1) locally, or (866) 647-7657 (option 1) toll free, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.