The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Local Education

June 26, 2013

Area schools reducing hours to comply with healthcare mandate

Full-time employees must be offered insurance under healthcare act

ELWOOD, Ind. — To meet compliance expectations of the Patient Protections and Affordable Health Care Act, schools are having to reduce hours that will impact part-time employees and possibly student services, officials say.

With regulations set by the federal statute, schools now must offer affordable coverage to all full-time employees and cut the hours of part-time employees, like cafeteria workers, instructional aides and custodians, to 30 hours a week or less to avoid penalties.

“The primary group getting hurt is students,” Elwood Community Schools Interim Superintendent Tom Austin said. “The next group is employees.”

For example, students with individualized learning plans (IEPs) may have two different aides they work with rather than just one they may be familiar with.

Anderson Community Schools Human Resources Director Eric Creviston said teachers will be receiving less support from para-educators and instructional assistants.

“These employees are critical and important parts of our schools and how educational services are provided,” he said, “and we are still calculating and observing how these services will be impacted.”

Other than those with exemptions, such as bus drivers who drive students to several extracurricular activities or field trips a year, overtime will no longer be allowed, Austin said.

Elwood Community Schools Business Manager Joa Griffith said the district will be keeping track of employees’ hours weekly, but that the Affordable Healthcare Act is looking at a six-month average.

That means that an exempt bus driver (there are one certified and two classified employees for Elwood who are exempt) could work more than 30 hours, but would have to reduce his hours even more the following week.

And less hours means less compensation.

Except in ACS’ case. Each district had a little flexibility as to how they wanted to address the changes, and Creviston said the district was in a position to retain the current daily wage.

That means ACS part-time employees will receive fewer hours but the same pay.

So what happens if school districts don’t fall in line with these new regulations? There are thousands of dollars in penalties.

According to the Affordable Healthcare Act guide, the “sledgehammer” penalty is enacted “if a large employer fails to offer minimal essential coverage to at least 95 percent of its’ full time employees and their dependents.”

“The employer will be subject to an annual penalty of $2,000 for each of its full-time employees (minus 30) provided if even one full-time employee receives a subsidy to purchase insurance through an exchange,” the guide continues.

“There is no alternative,” Griffith said. “We have to follow the law.”

The new law goes into effect January 1, 2014, but changes have to be made now to comply, Creviston said.

Even as schools are working on these alterations, Griffith added, the language of the law is still changing.

Creviston said further adjustments may have to be made while schools also prepare to pay federal excise taxes next year for the first time.

Like Dani Palmer on Facebook and follow her @DaniPalmer_THB on Twitter, or call 640-4847.

1
Text Only
Local Education
  • Ritz, Glenda Ritz to speak at APA's Senior Girls Luncheon Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz will be the guest speaker at Anderson Preparatory Academy's Senior Girls Luncheon on April 29.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • FEA HB0424 Frankton Prom Court 2014 Frankton prom court named The Frankton High School Prom Court has been selected for Saturday‚Äôs prom at The Factory, a community building owned and renovated by the First United Methodist Church of Frankton.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Spotlight on the kids When pianist Nathan Cook started volunteering for the special education program at Anderson High School, he started mulling over ideas how he could do more to help.

    April 23, 2014

  • NWS - HB0423 - Symphony for Kids - JC 31a.jpg Symphony for Kids draws Anderson-area students

    Nearly 1,000 fifth- and sixth-grade students attended the Anderson Symphony Orchestra's performance Tuesday during the annual Symphony for Kids concert at the Paramount Theatre.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Frankton school evacuated, no bomb found

    Students were back in classes at Frankton Jr./Sr. High School after a bomb threat forced an evacuation Tuesday morning. No explosive device was found.

    April 22, 2014

  • Students to get introduction to symphony Nearly 1,000 fifth- and sixth-grade Madison County students will be going to the Paramount Theatre Tuesday for the annual Symphony for Kids concert.

    April 22, 2014

  • Ellspermann, Susan Ellspermann to deliver AU commencement address Indiana Lt. Gov. Susan Ellspermann will address the Anderson University Class of 2014 during commencement exercises on Saturday, May 10.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • FEA HB0421 Silent Movie 2 Acting without words

    Nineteen area students will take a walk down the red carpet Tuesday evening as their film projects premiere at the Paramount Theatre during the WRC Silent Film Festival.

    April 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • 2014 Debutante Cotillion participants

    The 11 participants in this year’s Debutante Cotillion Beautillion Militaire were asked a variety of questions, including their influences, words that describe themselves and favorite “words to live by.” The event begins at 4 p.m. Saturday, April 26, at Madison Park Church of God, 6607 Providence Drive. Call Antoinette Davis at 620-2229 for tickets, which are $270 per table or $30 each.

    April 19, 2014

  • NWS-HB0419-IvyTech-JC2.JPG Work begins on new Ivy Tech facility

    Motorists driving on East 60th Street near Columbus Avenue will notice heavy machinery working in preparation for a new educational facility in Anderson.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide