House Panel Backs Changes to Health Care Overhaul
February 4, 2014 04:11 PM
CQ Roll Call is reporting that the House Ways and Means Committee voted to change sections of the Affordable Care Act that addresses the Employer Mandate. According to the article:
The House Ways and Means Committee approved two bills that would make changes to the 2010 health care overhaul’s employer mandate, which requires coverage to be provided by companies with at least 50 full-time workers.
One amended measure (HR 2575), backed 23-14, would raise the full-time worker minimum for the mandate from 30 hours to 40 hours per week. The other (HR 3979), approved 37-0, would prevent emergency services volunteers from being taken into account as employees.
NAHC supports increasing the full-time worker definition from 30 to 40 hours and has submitted testimony to that effect for previous House hearings on the topic. According to NAHC’s testimony:
“The majority of personal care home care workers do not receive employee health insurance because home care agencies have three problems that are fairly unique: reliance on government programs such as Medicaid where payment rates as low as $11 an hour won’t cover the increased costs of providing health insurance; consumers of private pay home care that are often elderly and disabled with fixed low incomes; and a home care workforce with widely varying work hours primarily to accommodate the needs of their infirm clientele.
Home care agencies that are unable to provide health insurance or absorb the ACA penalties will have to restrict their employees to no more than 29 hours per week to ensure their workers are considered part-time under the ACA. A survey that NAHC conducted earlier this year showed two-thirds of the private pay home care companies and three-quarters of the Medicaid home care companies are expecting to reduce working hours of staff to avoid the penalties. Millions of home care workers could find their hours, and thus their earnings, are cut back at a time when many of them are already struggling.”
For more on this issue, please see NAHC Report from October 16, 2013.
To urge your elected officials to support changing the definition of “full time worker” from 30 hours to 40 hours, please click here.