Education, From The Capitol To The Classroom

More School Districts Cutting Part-Time Worker Hours Ahead Of Insurance Law

Elle Moxley/StateImpact Indiana

Many Indiana school districts are reducing the hours of part-time aides and cafeteria workers because they say they can't afford to provide health insurance. Under the Affordable Care Act, an employee who works 30 hours or more may be eligible for health insurance.

School districts across the state are cutting the hours of part-time employees because of costs associated with implementation of Affordable Care Act, reports Archie Ingersoll for the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette:

Fort Wayne Community Schools is trimming the hours of more than 600 part-time teaching aides and cafeteria workers in anticipation of a projected budget shortfall and to satisfy the requirements of the federal health care law, a school official said.

Kathy Friend, chief financial officer for FWCS, said the school district is dropping 610 employees from 30 hours to 25 hours per week starting June 3, rather than provide them with health insurance as mandated by impending federal regulations. Offering those employees health insurance would have cost $10 million, a price the district cannot afford, she said.

Friend said the decision to cut hours was also driven by the expectation that FWCS will have a tighter budget in 2015.

“We have to make the decision we’re making because of a budget situation, and we really have to make it because of the insurance issue,” she said.

Friend told Ingersoll how to handle part-time employees isn’t just a Fort Wayne problem or a schools problem, but an issue for nearly every employer. Under the federal health insurance law, she says the district would have face a $8 million penalty for not insuring part-time workers.

About 230 part-time FWCS employees will continue to work more than 30 hours per week. Friend tells the Journal Gazette they will eventually be eligible for health insurance.

Tell us: Has your district reduced the hours of part-time workers and support stuff to less than 30 hours in anticipation of the health insurance mandate?



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