While certain states do not offer healthcare coverage to their part-time workers, Florida is set to begin providing insurance benefits to all employees in October.
According to The Florida Current, the state decided it will allow public non-career employees who work at least 30 hours a week to enroll in the state’s health plan starting in October. These workers are often known as “other service professionals” or OPS employees. The Florida Legislature recently passed legislation to extend coverage to these workers.
The Insurance Journal reported in January the state faced a $300 million a year fine if it didn’t legally allow part-timers working at least 30 hours a week to receive benefits. According to the source, covering part-time state employees would cost Florida $23.5 million next year. Experts estimated there are 2,200 workers in state agencies and 4,700 employees at public universities who may be affected.
The Florida Current reported the state decided to implement the law now, despite the employer mandate provision’s postponement.
“Although the federal penalty has been delayed, the state law, as passed, requires the state of Florida to provide insurance to certain part-time workers by Jan. 1, 2014,” Craig Nichols, secretary for the department of management services, wrote. “Consistent with the provisions of Senate Bill 1802 (the budget provisos), the Department of Management Services will proceed with open enrollment to eligible state workers, as directed, on Oct. 21, 2013.”