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ACA 30-hour coverage rule sparks change among employers

Posted on February 20th, 2013 with No comments

Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), large employers will be required to offer healthcare benefits to all employees who work a minimum of 30 hours per week. While the mandate will likely force businesses to extend coverage to many part-time workers, a recent survey reveals only a small portion of these employees currently accept employer-sponsored healthcare coverage.

In 2012, when eligible part-time workers were offered health benefits, only 53 percent elected to receive coverage, compared to 77 percent of full-time employees, according to Workforce magazine. In addition, while part-time workers make up 23 percent of the workforce, only 15 percent are eligible for employer-paid healthcare benefits. This means part-time workers represent only 5 percent of all people participating in their employer's healthcare coverage.

Beginning January 1, 2014, employers with at least 50 employees who are full-time – or work at least 30 hours a week – will be required to extend coverage to all these workers and the amount of part-time employees taking advantage of these benefits is expected to rise, according to the magazine.

To avoid extending coverage, some employers are placing a 29-hour cap on the weekly work amount for some employees. Long-term care facilities, rehabilitation centers and home-health agencies rely heavily on part-time workers and are among the industries most affected by the ACA mandate, states KCOY News, a local Fox Network affiliate.

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