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Cutting hours to avoid Obamacare

Here’s something to consider next time you hear someone suggesting the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act hasn’t had an impact on workforce hiring decisions.

According to a new survey of nearly 750 HR professionals, about one in five U.S. employers either have reduced hours for workers they consider to be part-time, or will do so, in response to requirements of the law.

The survey by the Society for Human Resource Management found nearly three-quarters of respondents haven’t made any changes in their schedules to avoid providing health insurance for part-timers. But 14 percent have, and another 6 percent told SHRM they intend to.

The survey results come as the ACA marks its fifth anniversary.

The law, aka Obamacare, mandates large employers offer health care coverage to employees working 30 hours or more per week or face a penalty.

When it comes to trying to reduce full-time worker hours or reducing the number of full-time employees to duck under the requirement, SHRM reported that only about 10 percent have considered going down that road.

Among other key findings:

  • 54 percent of employers require employees to work 30 hours a week to be eligible for coverage, an increase from 44 percent in 2014 and 39 percent in 2013. Another 26 percent require employees to work more than 30 hours a week to be eligible.
  • 66 percent said their organization offered the same level of health care benefits as before PPACA was enacted.
  • 77 percent said that their health care coverage costs increased from 2014 to 2015, while 6 percent saw a decrease.

Apprentice Personnel assists employers with short-term and long-term staffing needs to help control costs and manage overhead expenses. 

About the Author

Lon Matejczyk

Lon is the former publisher of the Colorado Springs Business Journal and Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group.He has served in leadership roles at various newspapers in Iowa, Florida and Wisconsin. Lon received his Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire and attended the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. Earlier in his career, Lon spent several years as a sea captain and held a 100-ton Coast Guard license. Lon is a former rugby player, referee and administrator and now coaches under 13 year old kids. Lon has served on the boards of numerous community and business organizations including Colorado Springs Leadership Institute, Peak Venture Group, CS Quality of Life Indicators Business Index Committee, Junior Achievement and is a member of The Colorado Thirty Group.  Lon was given the “Making the Pikes Peak region a better place to live work and play” award by the CS Chamber of Commerce, was the VFW Post 1’s business citizen of the year.

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