While the pressure placed on states and local governments to announce whether they will extend healthcare benefits to employees considered part-time or contract who work at least 30 hours a week mounts, Maryland is launching a study to determine how many and what type of these employees work for the state, according to The Associated Press.
Maryland will not announce whether it will offer these workers benefits, limit their hours or accept the penalty fee associated with not complying with the Affordable Care Act mandate until the fall, said Carolyn Quattrocki, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Health Care Reform.
“No decision has been made at all,” Quattrocki said. “We’re really just at the analysis stage. We have to get a handle on what the picture is.”
Roughly 230,000 Maryland full-time employees, retirees and their dependents are currently enrolled in the state health plan.
Maryland, which was an early supporter of President Barack Obama’s administration’s healthcare reform legislation, made moves earlier in April to further the progress of its state-operated healthcare exchange, which is scheduled to open for enrollment in October.
Across the country, state employees who work part-time or are contracted may not be extended employer-sponsored benefits and would be encouraged to turn to their state’s benefits marketplace to purchase coverage.