With a significant number of home health agencies classified as large employers under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), home health advocates have convinced lawmakers to reintroduce legislation that would help agencies avoid penalties for failing to offer health insurance to part time workers. The US House of Representatives voted to advance their version of that legislation on January 8.
Currently, the provision in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that imposes penalties on employers with more than 50 full-time equivalent employees for not providing health insurance for their “full time” workers defines an employee working just 30 hours a week as full time. This definition of full time is out-of-keeping with standard employment practices and could cause significant financial burdens for many home care agencies. That mandate is not active until 2016, but later this year, the federal healthcare law will require that companies with 100 or more employees must offer coverage to most workers or face a financial penalty.
The House voted 252-172 to approve their version of the bill with 12 Democrats joining Republicans, which is not enough for a “veto proof” majority.
On the US Senate side, a hearing on Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Joe Donnelly (D-IN) “40 Hours Is Full Time Act” bill is planned for later this month.
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