Obamacare and Health Insurance for Sea Org Workers & Staff

Discussion in 'News and Current Events' started by failboat, Aug 3, 2013.

  1. failboat Member

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  2. failboat Member

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  3. Anonymous Member

    I see what thar doing over thar. They've taken over your thread, throwing their unrelated uninformed opinions back and forth.
    I think that is a part of ESMB, because many over there are still into the woo, and hard thinking is still difficult for them. Just my humble opinion.
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  4. RolandRB Member

    "hard thinking"?

    That's too steep a gradient.
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  5. Anonymous Member

  6. failboat Member

    "The Fair Labor Standards Act and Religious Organizations" Center for the Study of Law and the Church, Samford University, Birmingham, Alabama Spring 1992

    Note that the groups described here are all classified as employees, whether minimum wage standards apply to them or not.

    Exemptions Under the [Fair Labor Standards] Act

    "Churches and other religious organizations should be aware of exemptions for certain workers who are not subject to the minimum wage and overtime compensation requirements. First, the Act grants a limited exemption for employees of a religious or non-profit educational conference center if the center does not operate for more than seven months in any calendar year, or if during the preceding calendar year its average receipts for any six months were not more than one-third of its average receipts for the other six months of the year. 26 U.s.c.§213(a)(3)"

    "Second, the Act exempts "any employee employed in a bona fide executive, administrative, or professional capacity (including any employee employed in the capacity of academic administrative personnel or teacher in elementary or secondary schools.)." Id. at 213(a)(1)."

    "The Department of Labor has defined the various job requirements for each of the foregoing categories and what is required for a person to be exempt from the minimum wage and overtime compensation requirements. An employee of a church or other religious organization who is employed in a bona fide executive, administrative, or professional capacity will be exempt from the Act's requirements."

    "Executive employees are defined as any employee (1) whose primary duty is the management of (a) the enterprise in which he is employed or (b) a customarily recognized department or subdivision of the enterprise, (2) supervises the work of two or more full-time employees, (3) has authority to hire, discharge, or promote other employees, (4) exercises discretionary powers, (5) spends at least 80 percent of the workday engaged in the primary duty, and (6) is paid on a salary basis of not less than $130 per week. 29 C.F.R. § 541.101."

    "Administrative employees are defined as any employee (1) who performs office or non manual work directly related to management operations, or administrative duties in a school system, (2) regularly exercises discretion beyond clerical duties, (3) performs specialized or technical work, or special assignments with only general supervision, (4) spends at least 80 percent of work time on such work, and (5) is paid on a salary basis of not less than $130 per week. 29 C.F.R. § 541.201."

    "Professional employees are defined as any employee (1) who is required to have as his primary duty, work that either (a) requires advanced knowledge in a field of science or learning, of a type customarily acquired by a prolonged course of specialized study, (b) work that is original and creative in character in a recognized field of artistic endeavor, and is primarily based on the employee's invention, imagination, or talent, or (c) teaching, tutoring, instructing, or lecturing as a teacher in a school system, (2) who exercises discretion and judgment, (3) whose work is predominantly intellectual and varied in character, (4) devotes 80 percent or more of his hours to the activities previously mentioned, and (5) is paid on a salary or fee basis of not less than $150 per week (this requirement does not apply to teachers). 29 C.F.R.§ 541.301. Clergy are included in the list of professional employees. Id. at 541.301."

    For our purposes, let's think of Sea Org as clergy. They'd still be employees, and would count toward a limit of 50 full-timers.

    "The Department of Labor has also issued Publication 1364 which states the following:

    Therefore, if a church operates a school, the teachers would be exempt from the Act while other school employees, such as custodians and cafeteria workers, would be subject to the Act's minimum wage and overtime compensations provisions."
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  7. RolandRB Member

    Maybe the C Org should be split into lots of little groups such that no group has 50 C Org staff.

    Hell, why don't they just deep six themselves if they become ill or do it to each other. Who fucking cares so long as they are gone? Victims and all that shit but if there were no C Org staff there would be no problem.
  8. Anonymous Member

    You can say that again.
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  9. Anonymous Member

    Did you see footnote 127? Who says lawyers don't have a sense of humor?

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  10. failboat Member

    There is no $100 fine for this, which is probably just as well, since I don't think it would be easy to measure compliance or enforce the penalty. I can't imagine it would be very popular, either.

    Source -’t-notify-their-employees-about-new-health-insurance-marketplace
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  11. Anonymous Member

    according to several comments, there was a fine and it was dropped 2 weeks ago
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  12. failboat Member

    That doc I quoted earlier from 1992 has some seriously outdated information in it (like weekly salaries). I should have known better. Here's the latest material I could find on FLSA exemptions from a number of sources, including one that's been posted in this thread. Another group, entitled to a "ministerial exemption," is outlined by the docs below. Note that the group is excluded from the definition of "employee" under the FLSA only, but if a member of that group fails to meet the definition of "volunteer" by receiving compensation or benefits, then s/he would still be considered an "employee," just not one protected by FLSA. [ Edit: My interpretation is that there exists a class of ministerial employees (clergy) that are not protected by FLSA, but who also cannot be classed under "volunteer" status, due to the reasons stated earlier in this thread as well as the following reasons. IANAL, YMMV ] Receiving benefits like lodging, food, transportation, medical care, and/or money can establish an employer-employee relationship. If the employer is the primary beneficiary of labor, then that may also establish and employer-employee relationship.

    Minimum Wage Requirements as they Apply to Churches

    Fair Labor Standards Act and Religion
    Published: 21-06-2012, 16:32

    03/29/2010 – Federal Wage and Hour Laws (FLSA)
    Monday, March 29, 2010
  13. failboat Member

    You're right. Some commenters on the blog have also pointed out that the penalty was only rescinded for this year, and that businesses may still face penalties or liability for failure to notify, eventually.

    Commenter -
    PC1 9/15/2013 - 9:19 am

    Another commenter -

    ShawnPerry 9/25/2013 - 4:46 am

    Commenter ShawnPerry provided a link to a website which claims that businesses that are non-compliant can be liable and sued for damages. However, that website is full of typos and also sells an Obamacare notification email service to businesses, so I'm not sure whether you should take their word for it, or the word of ShawnPerry. The way comments have been moderated would suggest otherwise. Looking at the other comments on that blog post, a lot have been deleted for spam, including at least 1 comment that came later than ShawnPerry, which suggests to me that his comment, link and all, has already been moderated and passed muster at that government blog.
    The link -

    Key quotes
  14. 12 Ways to Avoid Obamacare Fines By Dan Cook
    September 17, 2013
  15. failboat Member

    The individual mandate begins on January 1, 2014, and you can be fined per the amounts mentioned below beginning that year. 1/1/2014 is also the date that pre-existing conditions can no longer be a reason for denial of coverage.

    You could begin shopping/enrolling on state- or federally-run health insurance exchanges on October 1 - open enrollment ends 3/2014. Coverage from these exchanges also begins on 1/1/2014

    Timeline of PPACA dates - all quoted material below is from the following link

    The employer mandate begins in 2015, a ways off. The individual mandate begins on 1/1/2014, and health insurance exchanges, which are open-enrollment at the moment, just opened a few days ago to ensure that Americans have access to affordable insurance options ahead of the mandate, and can enroll. Open enrollment ends 3/1/2014.

    We are currently in a temporary, 6-month window intended for Americans without health insurance (like Sea Org and many Staff) to be able to get coverage, with open enrollment, on government-managed health plans.

    My understanding is that the government's ability to enforce the fine comes from the IRS garnishing any income tax refund the person may be entitled to in a given calendar year, so it's not exactly a powerful enforcement system, especially if people aren't getting large refunds.
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  16. Quentinanon Member

    Not new news.
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  17. failboat Member

    ESMB user Bea Kiddo says that Sea Org uses IRS Form 4361 - says she was there when they won their tax exemption and that was the form Sea Org used with the IRS to exempt themselves from self-employment taxes.

    The discussion that I could find about Form 4361 & Obamacare follows. The tax expert who answered seems to think 4361 doesn't exempt one from individual responsibility under Obamacare:
    Enturbuleak discussed the "religious group(s)... opposed to insurance" with this excellent post earlier in this thread:
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  18. Anonymous Member

    this is very interesting. It applies to many other tax issues as well. Sea org touts and advertises class discounts as a reason to join. From what i have read, this should be a taxable fringe benefit, yet it never seems to have been investigated. There have been a lot of new laws created covering "fringe benefits" of church staff, mostly because of televangelists, but a lot of them apply to the sea org.

    Under the current tax code, they are only allowed educational benefits of up to $5250, and discounts of up to 20% off of goods and services. Yet they seem to be paid in peanuts. so how can they afford to "cross the bridge" with out huge taxable discounts and fringe benefits?
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  19. failboat Member

    Bump for 2014. The grace period for getting coverage for the individual mandate lasts until March 31, 2014.
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  20. failboat Member

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  21. Quentinanon Member

    It gratifies me that sea org members in the U.S. will finally have access to fast, quality healthcare. No more "purchase orders" for doctor's visits that usually don't get approved by the Exec Council.
  22. failboat Member
    House OKs religious exemptions to having a healthcare plan

    From -

    This passed the House. I will keep an eye out for its consideration by the Senate. (It needs to pass both Houses of Congress before being considered by the President, who might veto it.) I don't know that Scientologists could avail themselves of the exemption it could provide, but it seems possible. The current language of the bill allows revocation of the religious exemption if the person to whom it was granted later seeks medical treatment.

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  23. whitesand Member

    Possibly the sea org pay is too low to be eligible for health care government subsidies.

    I went to the healthcare site and put in $2600 annual income, which is about what an SO makes, with a fictional age of 25, single no kids. The response came back as not eligible for government subsidies.

    They would not have to pay a fine for no coverage, because they make under the threshold taxable income, which for 2013 was $10,000 (personal exemption $3,900 plus standard deduction of $6,100).
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  24. failboat Member

    Thanks. If the average Sea Org worker's annual wages are too low for the financial disincentives of PPACA to apply, then the Sea Org workers might not have to worry about the individual mandate, but their employer is still on the hook for the employer mandate.

    Staff is also employed, so they would also count toward the limit of 50 full-time employees. Full-time means working 30+ hours per week, under the PPACA.

    It might solve a lot of CoS's problems to get Sea Org and Staff who qualify enrolled in Medicaid.
    Or it might not help at all, depending on how badly the government wants to put employers on the hook for the employer mandate.
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  25. RolandRB Member

    Does all this really mean that the cult will have to pay the medical insurance for Sea Org staff. Possibly Org staff as well? If so, it will destroy them due to Hubbard's Management Tech model of business of having more staff than customers.
  26. Bump.

    Today is the last day for open enrollment on the health care marketplaces. It's basically the deadline to get enrolled under the Individual mandate. (The Employer mandate begins 1/2015.)
  27. Quentinanon Member

    Individuals who make less than US$11,400/year either have to apply for Medicaid, a program for people with poverty line incomes, or pay regular full rate, which they cannot afford. Looks like the only sea ogre who can afford health insurance is David Miscavige, so the rest will have to pay the annual penalty to the IRS, which they cannot afford. I heard that scilons attempted to obtain "religious exemption" from the mandate and HHS refused as scientology dogma has no prohibition against medical treatment.
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  28. Quentinanon Member

    I believe the IRS could still assess them a penalty without some sort of health care enrollment.
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  29. Quentinanon Member

    From the wording, I don't think the scientology cult would qualify for exemption. They cannot honestly state that they are against ever going to a physician for illness or injury.
    "Equitable Access to Care and Health Act or the EACH Act - Amends the Internal Revenue Code, with respect to minimum essential health care coverage requirements added by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, to allow an additional religious exemption from such requirements for individuals whose sincerely held religious beliefs would cause them to object to medical health care provided under such coverage.
    Defines "medical health care" to mean voluntary health treatment by or supervised by a medical doctor that would be covered under minimum essential coverage that: (1) includes voluntary acute care treatment at hospital emergency rooms, walk-in clinics, or similar facilities; and (2) excludes treatment not administered or supervised by a medical doctor, physical examinations or treatment required by law or third parties, and vaccinations."
    "H.R. 1814 expands the religious conscience exemption in the Affordable Care Act. The existing exemption from the individual mandate in the ACA gives preference to a few select faiths. For example, the existing exemption requires individuals to waive all public and private insurance benefits, including Social Security and Medicare. The rigidity of the exemption does not respect the rights of all faiths. The EACH Act provides an exemption from the individual mandate penalty if an individual files an affidavit as part of their annual income tax return stating that they do not have the required insurance because of their sincerely held religious beliefs. If the individual voluntarily uses medical health care during the year, they lose eligibility for the exemption and are also required to pay the financial penalty."
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  30. failboat Member

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  31. Ceiling Sue Member

  32. RolandRB Member

    If they have to pay for Obamacare then this will be the end of the cult. They have too many staff doing stuff that does not make money for the cult. With Obamacare, they will make a heavy loss on having these staff.
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  33. RolandRB Member

    so what is happening with this? Do they have to pay, are they paying or what?
  34. tinfoilhatter Member

    I will tell you what is happening. The IRS is heavily automated. So chances are, they already know about this. anything that happens, will not happen right away. I have not heard of anyone being hit with any fines.

    Right now, they will have to focus on assessing the fine for people with out health insurance.

    I am not familiar with Florida medicade laws. Do they have a medicade expansion? If they do, then this is all a moot point, because they will be safely covered under the tax payers expense.
  35. Quentinanon Member

    I heard from an ex in Florida that the state does not have Medicaid expansion and basically, anyone making us$11,000 or less per annum is screwed. This means that if sea ogres have to go to the hospital, they become charity cases.
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  36. RolandRB Member

    I am sure another Sea Org member with a shovel could help them on towards their next MEST body.
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  37. tinfoilhatter Member

    Very interesting. Has anyone looked at the state medical expenses for that county? If they are abnormally high, then that would indicate $cientology exploiting the taxpayer. Something that the rest of Florida would not tolerate.
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  38. failboat Member

    Tomorrow is 1/1/15, which is the day that the employer mandate begins. See post #111 above for a summary of the employer mandate.

    I haven't had time to do very much research on this stuff for the last 6 months. I am still hoping muldrake and/or tikk decide(s) to visit this thread and one or both of them make some incredibly sexy lawfag posts.

    Meanwhile, here's a few things that I have had time to notice. HT to Communicator I/C - I believe he has threads on this first item both here and at ESMB, but I am too tired to go find them right now. Feel free to post links to those threads if you want.

    Also this. Indicates that there are more than 50 Sea Org at LA Org, and also has some speculation about other orgs (not excerpted):
    Feel free to post questions here, but don't count on me to be able to answer them quickly.

    If you've read this whole thread, then I welcome your informed commentary.
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  39. failboat Member

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