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Local State and Private Facilities Prepare for Health Insurance Requirements

By: Frankie Jupiter Email
By: Frankie Jupiter Email

February 11, 2013

Starting in 2014, the health care reform law requires health insurance coverage for employees who work at least 30 hours a week.

State agencies have been ordered to reduce part-time employee hours to no more than 29 hours a week. It's to avoid triggering health insurance requirements.

"If we had the budget I'd love to make more and more of our employees full time, but I have to live within our budgetary constraint," said PVCC President, Frank Friedman.

Friedman says the school is already starting to trim hours of employees to get ready for the new law. Though the budget wouldn't allow for everyone to be covered, school leaders say some people working thirty or more hours may get health benefits.

"In some areas I think we will consider bumping part time employees up to full time, where we really need that expertise that that employee provides," said Friedman.

Restaurants don't have to comply with the law until next year, but not all entities will cut back.

"We'll certainly offer (insurance) to them and it will be up to them as it is now for people over forty, whether to take it or not," said Bodo's Bagels co-owner, Scott Smith.

Smith says when it comes to his employees, it's all about retention.

"It's about retaining people. A lot of places don't care about that, especially fast food places or even restaurants in general. They often view their employees as very recyclable," said Smith.

Some school officials around the commonwealth are unsure how the law affects some employees, such as the more than 9,000 adjunct professors at community colleges.

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