What is the Affordable Care Act?
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law in 2010. The provisions of the law are being implemented over several years and include the expansion of Medicaid eligibility, the establishment of health insurance exchanges offering affordable coverage to individuals, and the prohibition of insurers to deny coverage based upon pre-existing conditions.
For employers, under the Affordable Care Act, businesses with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees must provide "affordable" health insurance with "minimum essential coverage" to their workers or face a penalty. The law says "full-time equivalent" because part-time worker hours are also factored in when determining a company's total employee count.
As a result, the District and all of its colleges are taking a careful look at the use of part-time or short-term employees and how they will be impacted by the ACA and how we, as an employer, can best utilize our part-time employees while ensuring that we remain in full compliance with the regulations set forth in the ACA. After careful (and ongoing) analysis, the District will be implementing new guidelines with regard to temporary employees.
Why is the District doing this now?
In order for us to continue to utilize the valuable services of our dedicated temporary employees in a fiscally responsible way and comply with the Affordable Care Act, CCCD will implement new guidelines effective January 1, 2014 that limits the number of hours temporary employees may work to a maximum of 28 hours per week (including any overtime). We are establishing this policy now because provisions of the Affordable Care Act become effective January 1, 2014, and will look back one year to establish workers' eligibility for employer-provided health insurance.
The Chancellor's Cabinet has been working with campus leaders to determine how these changes will impact individual departments and workflow. To date, we have been focused on our Classified short-term employees but will begin the analysis of part-time faculty shortly. It has been determined that the District will extend all current short-term employees through June 30, 2014 (expected to be on the November 6, 2013 Board agenda). These employees will still be subject to the 28 hours per week maximum. Between now and March of 2014, a completed analysis of needs and short-term hourly operational guidelines will be completed. Recognized gaps in service needs will be identified and further information will be made available.