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VA cuts employee work hours to avoid ACA costs

Virginia lawmakers are grappling to find a solution to an Affordable Care Act requirement that mandates large employers offer healthcare coverage to part-time workers.

Under the federal regulation, organizations that employ more than 50 people will have to offer healthcare benefits to all employees who work at least 30 hours a week.

In an effort to avoid a significant increase in insurance costs for state agencies, many entities have been ordered to forbid part-time employees from working more than 29 hours a week from now on, The Associated Press reports.

The new rule came about in Governor Bob McDonnell’s state budget, which was approved by the Senate and the House of Delegates last week, according to The Norfolk Virginian-Pilot. While the rule hasn’t been implemented into law yet, the Department of Human Resource Management expects it will and has urged all state agencies to begin following it now.

Extending healthcare coverage to part-time employees would cost the state up to $110 million a year, the department announced. Virginia’s community colleges are likely to be most affected by the state’s recent workweek limitations, as they employ the majority of public part-time workers.

Adjunct teachers, who are paid a flat fee per course taught, will likely see major pay cuts as a result of the impending legislation.

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Erin Woulfe
Erin Woulfe
Erin Woulfe likes to write about things that matter. Keeping her finger on the pulse of what’s happening in the public sector world, she blogs about the latest legislative news and employee benefit trends that affect our school, city and county clients. She’s been with NIS since 2002. “I love connecting to our clients and providing them with the tools they need in order to administrate their plan,” says Erin. “Whether that be materials to educate their employees on certain benefits, how to effectively communicate change within an organization or just providing tips and how-to’s to help them make their job easier.”

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