School District weighs health care options for part-time employees

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU)- The Eau Claire Area School District is weighing its options when it comes to the future of health care for its part-time employees.

At a meeting Monday night, the Eau Claire Area School Board heard its options when it comes to providing health insurance under the Affordable Care Act to its part-time employees.

Under the district's current policy employees are eligible for benefits if they work at least 20 hours per week.

Right now employees that work part time have a pro-rated portion of the insurance cost covered by the district.

Under rules outlined in the Affordable Care Act employees would be eligible for health insurance through the district at 30 hours per week and the district would not be able to pro-rate the coverage cost.

Meaning part time employees, who want coverage, would have to enroll through the exchanges. The district says there are a few concerns that come along with switching the current requirement with the new federal rules.

“There would be no discrimination so whatever. Hours that employees worked that you offer insurance you would pay the same for all. If that does become the case that could leave the Eau Claire School District with a large budget increase,” Associated Financial Group benefits consultant Deb Svihovec said.

The district says the cost of insuring part-time employees is uncertain right now but by not offering insurance the district could face close to two million dollars in fines.

The Eau Claire School Board will vote on adopting the changes at its next meeting on March 24th.

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