06/11/13 The Marshall County Council and County Commissioners held a joint meeting Monday to obtain information on the Affordable Care Act and the affects it could have on the County’s part-time employees.
Tony Nyers from The Healy Group, the county’s health insurance consultant discussed the new requirements that begin in 2014. Anyone that works 30 hours weekly on a regular basis will be considered full time and must be offered insurance. Nyers said, “Full time is now defined as 30 hours weekly.”
Additionally the county will now be required to pay the ACA Insurance Fee of 2.55% on the premium and they will pay a fee of $5.25 per insured person per month. These new fees will be collected by the carrier and automatically adds a three and a half percent increase to the premium for next year. It was mentioned that the Affordable Care Act has minimum plan requirements but since the county’s plan appears to be a Cadillac they will have an additional fee to pay. The ACA also has an affordability clause that limits employee’s premium to 9.5% of their income. Employees only pay $1.00 per year for their health insurance there is no issue for the county.
County Auditor Penny Lukenbill presented a listing of part-time county employees who go over the 30 hours weekly limit and those who are close working 25 to 28 hours weekly on a regular basis. She said there are only six or seven employees that are in the danger area. It was noted that seasonal employees are not considered in the ACA. That means mowers in the highway department and clerks in the treasurer’s office during tax time would not be affected.
The biggest decision the council members had was to determine what they wanted the cut-off hours to be for part-time employees, 25 or 28 hours weekly. After a discussion with various department heads a motion was approved to amend the Personnel Policy to make part-time work no more than 56 hours in the 14 day pay period. Anyone needing to work more than the 28 hours will have to have their department head seek approval from the council. Part-time staff that may qualify for health insurance will not qualify for paid vacations, sick days or comp days.
The council will work with the commissioners and the HR consultant to create the written policy for the employee handbook.