Resources for Affordable Care Act Compliance

Affordable Care Act Resources

Procedure Documents:

Related Payroll Forms:

The ACA Benefit Plan:

Special Pay Procedure & Request Form 

To accurately track ACA eligibility and correctly process payments, Special Pay has been greatly scaled back.  Most individuals receiving pay by Northwestern should be paid as temporary employees, regular employees, or independent contractors.

  • The Special Pay Request Form indicates the specific instances where Special Pay is allowed.
  • The generic Special Pay job code (101537) has been discontinued.
  • For questions regarding Special Pay, please contact Anniese Lemond, Director, HR Compensation, at 

Adjunct and Occasional Faculty 

The University must track the hours worked for all adjunct and occasional faculty members using a federally-mandated formula. To this end, Position/Appointment Forms must include the Standard Hours field for this group of employees. 

  • The Standard Hours must be calculated using the federally-mandated formula and will represent the ACA-eligible hours per week. Refer to the Adjunct Faculty Quick Guide for the adjunct ACA calculation and examples.
  • Departments must submit updated Standard Hours via a Position/Appointment Form if there is a change in an adjunct’s course load or classroom hours.
  • The Position/Appointment form should indicate Standard Hours of “1” for an adjunct placed in unpaid status.

Independent Contractors 

  • Any request for a new independent contractor must be approved by the HR Compensation Division prior to processing by Accounting Services. Complete the Independent Contractor Questionnaire (ICQ) and submit to HR Compensation for review; a final determination will be returned to the requestor.
  • An employee must be rehired and paid via University payroll if it has been less than one year since the employee was terminated as a benefits-eligible employee.  These individuals are not eligible to be independent contractors. 


For assistance completing paperwork, contact or stop by a FASIS/Payroll Open Lab for one-on-one assistance. 

For questions regarding ACA policy, tracking, or benefits, contact