BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. - Local 6 news partner Florida Today is reporting that Eastern Florida State College is cutting the hours of 110 part-time employees so it would not be required to offer them health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
The decision, effective this week, reduces some part-time employees from 30 to 28 hours a week. It is expected to save the college nearly $800,000 a year in health insurance costs. Eastern Florida pays about $7,000 for each employee toward health insurance.
The new health insurance law requires employers to provide coverage to individuals working an average of 30 hours a week. The 110 employees affected did not previously receive health insurance as a work benefit.
"This is a necessary measure that the college must take. However, please know that the college values your continued contributions," states a Sept. 17 Eastern Florida memo.
College spokesman John Glisch said the reduction in hours was purely a cost-saving move. The change affects employees such as secretaries, child-care workers and King Center staff.
"We didn't want to eliminate any jobs and felt that slightly trimming the part-time hours was a far better alternative," Glisch said.
The college employs nearly 800 full-time faculty and staff, nearly 500 adjunct professors and nearly 160 part-time employees.
Full-time employees are not affected, nor are adjunct professors. Policy caps adjuncts to teaching 12 credit hours a week, making them ineligible for college health insurance.
More employment changes are expected. Eastern Florida is reviewing its security force, including the 40 part-time officers who work 30 hours a week.
The study may lead to changes in how often the security officers work and whether they are full- or part-time, which will determine whether they qualify for college health insurance. They have not previously received insurance.
"There is a one-year delay in the ACA employer mandate (to offer insurance), so there is plenty of time to make a decision," Glisch said.
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