COLUMBIA CITY — Whitley County Consolidated Schools is trying to prepare for the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obama Care, but changes sometimes come swifter than preparation.
“We were preparing quite a detailed report for you,” said WCCS Business Manager Tony Zickgraf to the Board of Trustees. “But the rules are changing as fast as we can print them.”
The biggest change Zickgraf referenced was the employer requirement to offer health insurance. That requirement has been delayed and will not be implemented until January of 2015.
Zickgraf explained that every large employer, which would include WCCS, is required to provide affordable healthcare for employees who work more than 30 hours per week. While the definition of 30 hours as a full-time employee has been a problem for some employers, WCCS is benefitting from a decision made more than two decades ago.
“The board set a 30-hour rule back in 1990,” Zickgraf said. “For our employees who work 30 hours per week, we have already provided them with healthcare. We just have to make sure it is affordable.”
To qualify as “affordable,” an employee’s share of the premium cannot exceed 9.5 percent. Zickgraf said the district will begin offering a high-deductible plan to fulfill that requirement.
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