Interns and workers at table For a great many employers, the bottom line is that interns should just be treated like other employees–but there are exceptions. (Photo: Getty)

It’s an age-old tradition: every summer, employers hire interns. Internships come in many varieties including paid and unpaid for-credit programs. However, employers may not be aware of how the Affordable Care Act requirement of offering health coverage to full-time employees impacts its seasonal interns.

The ACA requires employers who have 50 or more Full-Time Equivalent employees (FTEEs) in the prior year to offer ACA compliant health insurance or pay a penalty. These are Applicable Large Employers (ALEs). Full-time under the ACA means those employees who at the time of hire are reasonably expected average at least 30 hours or more each week. Full-time employees generally are not measured and are not subject to a look-back period. Additionally, eligible employees of ALEs need to be offered health coverage no more than 91 days after date of hire.

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