I am a recently retired teacher. I have been told by my district that I must have a 26 week break in service before I can substitute teach. Even though I have insurance their understanding is they have to offer me health insurance, and I can’t decline it because I was employed full time from Oct. 1, 2014- July 1, 2015. Is it true that under the affordable care act, even though I would be working a few hours as a substitute, they still would have to offer me insurance? This is hurting the small income I would like to receive from substitute teaching.
This needs a two party answer, firstly:
Once you are offered coverage (due to qualifying under the employer's measurement period for full-time) then they must continue to offer it for a set time (again dictated by measuring periods). Thus, if you stay employed it makes sense that they would continue to offer coverage despite the break in being full-time (until you officially became part-time under the measurement period rules; which are complex).
Secondly, all that aside, if you want:
You can decline employer health insurance (it's called a waiver of coverage), but you won't be able to get cost assistance through ObamaCare or dependent coverage through the employer plan if coverage was offered.
Essentially everyone has the right to decline or accept any private major medical plan under the Affordable Care Act if they can afford it, but having access to affordable employer coverage bars you from getting cost assistance on the health insurance marketplace. Also if you decline employer coverage your tax dependents can't get coverage through the employer or cost assistance either. Employer coverage does not affect Medicaid eligibility.
However, if you can't afford coverage, or if two people in your family cannot afford coverage on arrogate (per guidelines, see link below) then you can get an exemption and use the marketplace.
For more information on determining affordable coverage see "What is Affordable Employer Coverage Under ObamaCare?"