As states and localities come to terms with different elements of the Affordable Care Act, some estimate expanding coverage for part-time workers will be too costly.
Under the ACA, employers with 50 or more full-time workers will be required to offer health insurance to all employees who work at least 30 hours each week. To cope with the mandate, many Nebraska school districts may cap the number of hours part-time workers put in each week to avoid having to offer them coverage.
Thousands of of the state’s non-teaching employees, including teacher aides, bus drivers, custodians, cooks and administrative staff could have their hours cut or be laid off, Karen Haase, a legal representative for roughly 150 Nebraska school districts, told The Associated Press. These workers also face the option of receiving coverage, but Haase said she doubts any districts will extend benefits.
While larger employers will likely cut part-time employee hours, smaller ones are considering paying the penalty for noncompliance because they do not have enough staff members to limit hours and reassign duties, Haase said. In addition, small districts may lay off full-time employees or limit hiring to avoid having 50 or more workers.
In 2012, only about about half of part-time employees nationwide eligible for healthcare coverage accepted it, according to the ADP Research Institute, which expects this portion to increase in 2014.