District cuts hours amid insurance cost concerns

By The Associated Press | Posted - Oct. 1, 2014 at 12:01 p.m.



This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

TWIN FALLS, Idaho (AP) — A south-central Idaho school district has cut hours for more than 150 workers to avoid having to provide health insurance mandated under the Affordable Care Act.

The Times-News reported (http://bit.ly/1nLfVBx) in a story on Wednesday that the Twin Falls School District made the move after administrators concluded that maintaining work hours would cost the district $1 million.

"It's an unintended consequence of the health care reform act," district Human Resources Director Shannon Swafford said.

The board cut weekly hours for teaching aids, food service employees and other non-professionals down to 27.5 hours from previous workweeks of 30 to 34 hours.

Under the Affordable Care Act, employees working 30 or more hours in 2015 will be eligible for full insurance benefits in 2016. Employers with 50 or more workers must offer coverage to those averaging at least 30 hours per week, or face fines.

Swafford said that approaching mandate led the school district to rework schedules so workers wouldn't go above 30 hours. Some aides will no longer coach sports teams as a result.

Other school districts in the region tell the newspaper that they have no plans to reduce hours for workers.

"Are we going to take those employees and bump them down? No," said Luke Schroeder, superintendent for the Kimberly School District. "We're looking at how to fund them at full-time benefit levels next year."

Gina Cakebread, who oversees the payroll at the Jerome Joint School District, said there are no plans to cut hours. She said the district budgets annual increases for health insurance costs.

___

Information from: The Times-News, http://www.magicvalley.com

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The Associated Press

    SIGN UP FOR THE KSL.COM NEWSLETTER

    Catch up on the top news and features from KSL.com, sent weekly.
    By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to KSL.com's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

    KSL Weather Forecast