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Chariho schools prepare for Affordable Healthcare Act

August 22, 2013

WOOD RIVER JUNCTION — The Affordable Healthcare Act (AHA) will have “dramatic financial implications” for the Chariho Schools according to Chariho Solicitor Jon M. Anderson, who made a presentation of the AHA's potential ramifications to the school committee on Tuesday night.

Anderson began by defining the AHA's terms for full-time, part-time, and variable-hour employees: Full-time employees work 30 hours or more a week or 130 or more hours per month; part-time employees work less than 30 hours per week; and, variable-hour employees might work more than 30 hours one week and less than 30 hours the next because their schedules are unpredictable.

If an employee is full-time, she qualifies for receiving health insurance from her employer under AHA rules.

“What matters are the total hours of service. So, if a substitute teacher works six hours per day and then coaches for three hours that evening, the total hours of service add up to nine hours,” he said.

“It's a particularly difficult problem for school departments because you have a lot of employees who only work part-time – they coach, they substitute, they work as ticket-takers on Saturdays, they don't work simple hours like a lot of people do,” he added.

“So how do you figure out who your full-time employees are? The regulations are like the phone book. Fortunately we have someone in our office who is specializes is doing this,” he said.

Anderson recommended the “Look Back” method as a way to protect the school from breaking government regulations.

The first step of “Look Back” will be to gather all of the payroll records and to calculate the average number of hours for each employee.

For the full story, pick up today's Chariho Times.

Southern Rhode Island Newspapers
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