University of Iowa faces new healthcare rules

Posted in: Iowa City Owl

The new healthcare guidelines are looming for the entire country, and University of Iowa is no different. The college and its facilities prepare to be drastically affected by the new health care program set to go into effect January 1, 2015.

The Affordable Care Act was supposed to begin in January of 2014, but it has been pushed back for a year, giving large companies additional time to analyze their healthcare coverage to meet the requirements for the implementation of the new system.

Just like many other businesses across the nation, many employees of the University of Iowa will become eligible for federal healthcare benefits under the Affordable Care Act. This program offers healthcare to individuals who were not previously eligible for healthcare through their jobs. 

In order for the workplace to not have to pay fees for the individuals to be covered nationally, they will have to provide them with insurance if they work at least 30 hours per week. This includes working students and non-student workers both.

This particular factor does not directly affect the University of Iowa because the college already covers staff and workers that work at last 20 hours per week.

There are still effects, though, on the college. The individuals who do not work on an hourly basis for the college and are paid differently may be in question due to the new healthcare laws. Temporary employees that work full time are also in question. The part-time faculty members that work unusual hours will also be difficult for the college. They have to figure in all of the extra hours worked by the faculty, for which they are not paid hourly. 

While some schools have decided that the easiest route would be to give hourly cuts across the board for difficult employees, making sure that no part-time employees work more than 30 hours a week, the University of Iowa will not be making across the board cuts.

Instead, the college has allowed individual supervisors to handle this as they see fit. If they want to reduce hours of employees below 30, they can. Or, they can meet the requirements for healthcare coverage.

The numbers of employees, though, that could still be eligible for benefits, though, may be hard to track. University of Iowa has decided to make the process easier by creating a database that will allow the hours to be tracked much more efficiently.

Past hours will be collected over a year period of time and analyzed. These will be used to determine eligibility of employees for healthcare benefits, or if they do not qualify. 

Other employees of the University of Iowa will be affected in a different way. They will be affected by what is commonly being called a tax on the Cadillac healthcare plans. These are extravagant healthcare plans with a lot of benefits and coverage.

Most of University of Iowa's plans are not expected to meet this, though, so this doesn't look like it is going to be a big impact, if any at all.

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