As school districts across the country confront the employee insurance benefits reforms mandated by the Affordable Care Act, many are grappling to decide whether to extend healthcare coverage to part-time employees, limit the number of hours these workers can put in or pay the penalty fine. Indiana school districts are among those faced with these difficult decisions.
Under the ACA, employers with 50 or more employees must offer coverage to all full-time staff members. The federal mandate defines a full-time work as one who clocks in at least 30 hours per week. Currently, thousands of substitute teachers, bus drivers, cafeteria employees and other school staff work more than 30 hours per week and are considered part-time and don’t receive healthcare benefits. However, the federal legislation would mandate that these individuals be offered coverage.
The Courier-Journal, a local newspaper, explained that many cash-strapped schools in Indiana are capping the amount of time certain employees work to avoid having to spend more to extent benefits. One such district is the Shelbyville Central School System, which is cutting the hours of more than 100 aides, bus drivers, substitute teachers and athletic coaches.
Meanwhile, The News Sentinel, another local source, explained that Fort Wayne Community Schools is in a similar situation and expects to trim the hours of more than 600 cafeteria and aide staff.
Employers struggling to determine how they will go about abiding by the ACA can seek information for National Insurance Services.