Obamacare Forces Indiana Schools to Cut Employee Hours

Monday, 10 Jun 2013 04:00 PM

By Lisa Barron

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Schools in Indiana are reducing the hours of workers, including teachers' assistants, bus drivers, and cafeteria workers in order to avoid the federal healthcare employer mandate under Obamacare.

Starting in 2014, the healthcare reform law requires employers with at least 50 full-time workers to offer health insurance to those working at least 30 hours a week or face a financial penalty.

Dennis Costerison, executive director of the Indiana Association of School Business Officials, told The Courier-Journal that aside from how much funding schools receive from the state, complying with the healthcare law is the biggest issue facing school officials.

"What I'm seeing across the state is school districts, unfortunately, having to reduce the hours that they're having some of their folks work, primarily so they don't have to worry about the penalties, or they don't have to provide them health insurance, which would be very, very costly," he said.

Some schools, including the Indianapolis Public School System, are reportedly still studying the issue, while others have determined they can comply without much adjustment.

But for those workers who are not only going to remain without health insurance but will also have their hours cut, the mandate could be a double blow.

"For some of them, it's an extra job," Teresa Meredith, vice president and president-elect of the Indiana State Teachers Association, told The Courier-Journal. "But for many of them, they're single parents or it's a second income that they have to have to make payments on houses and pay their bills and feed their kids."


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