Tag Archives: job killer

Shift to part time: Employers cutting work hours thanks to Obamacare

The list has grown to 313 employers. ObamaCare Employer Mandate: A List Of Cuts To Work Hours, Jobs – Investors.com.

ObamaCare’s impact on jobs is hotly debated by politicians and economists. Critics say the Affordable Care Act, with its employer mandate to provide health insurance, gives businesses an incentive to cut workers’ hours. This year, report after report has rolled in about employers restricting work hours to fewer than 30 per week — the point where the mandate kicks in. Data also point to a record low workweek in low-wage industries.

That’s just what the doctor ordered for workers in low wage industries, shifting workers to part time and less hours. Guess that’s a good way to breed dependence on government.

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IBD tracking Obamacare work hour cuts

ObamaCare: 258 Employers Cut Work Hours, Jobs In New IBD Scorecard – Investors.com.

 

IBD is introducing ObamaCare Employer Mandate: A List Of Cuts To Work Hours, Jobs — a compilation of employers who have opted to restrict work hours to limit new liability for employee health coverage.

As of Sept. 3, this list has reached 258 — including more than 200 public-sector employers.

Almost all of those employers have cut the hours of part-time workers to below 30 per week — the point at which ObamaCare’s insurance mandate kicks in.

A few have cut payrolls to steer clear of ObamaCare’s 50 full-time-equivalent-worker definition of a large employer subject to employer fines. A few others have reduced staff while contracting with employment services firms to limit their ObamaCare exposure.

This can hardly be called a surprise can it? My interpretation is that IBD is significantly undercounting the private employers who are reducing hours.

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Delta Airlines letter to the Obama Adminstration: Obamacare NOT Business as Usual

Delta Air Lines letter to the Obama administration

June 13, 2013

I want to thank you for the opportunity to meet with you at Grady Hospital in Atlanta recently to discuss the impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on Delta Air Lines. The small group setting allowed for a good exchange of ideas that I found very valuable. As you know, I and the other large employer representatives in attendance did not agree with your initial assessment that the ACA means “business as usual” for large employers. Since you committed to share our concerns with Secretary Sebelius and the President, I thought it might be helpful to summarize the major points for you here.

As you heard from many of us, the ACA will result in increasing costs, for both our companies and our employees, and will also reduce the benefits provided. Here are some of the major drivers of these effects:

  • The Reinsurance Fee — The ACA requires large employers to pay an annual fee of $63 per covered participant in 2014. For Delta’s roughly 160,000 enrolled active and retired employees and their family members, this represents more than $10 million added to the cost of providing health care next year. As we discussed, this fee, which is meant to help stabilize the state exchanges as they get started, provides absolutely zero direct benefit to our participants. It is, essentially, a direct subsidy form us and our employees to those who participate in the exchanges.
  • Covering Children Until Age 26 – There is no doubt that this has been a popular provision nationwide and at Delta we have seen more than 8,000 children added to our rolls resulting in a permanent increase in our overall costs of about $14 million per year. We are required to charge the same for these children as we do for any other children covered by our plan. However, our experience shows that, on average, these children are consuming considerably more health care than other children we cover. In essence, we are experiencing adverse selection in this population and that is having an impact on the costs that we and our employees pay for coverage.
  • The Individual Mandate – As you know, in 2014, the individual mandate under the ACA kicks in and those not currently covered under any plan must enroll or pay a penalty to the Federal government. Our actuaries have estimated how many of those who currently opt out of our coverage will now opt in. Their estimates are that this requirement will add another $14 Million in costs to our plan each year, net of the premiums paid by these individuals.
  • Thirty Hour Rule – As you heard at the meeting, many employers are planning to reduce employees’ hours to less than thirty per week in order to avoid the requirements to either provide health coverage or pay fees for those employees. Delta is not one of those employers, and we do not plan to force employees to work fewer hours as a result of the ACA. For others, however, this represents one of the negative unintended consequences of the ACA and we support efforts to raise the limit to 40 hours per week rather than thirty.
  • Pay or Play Penalties – The group health coverage Delta provides to its full time employees more than meets the definition of “affordable coverage” as defined by the ACA. However, the proposed regulations that implement this provision of the law are very complex and, when finalized, may unnecessarily impose HR information systems changes that will be costly to build and maintain. In addition, there are many unsettled principles surrounding this provision of ACA and based on the fact that it is already June, employers will not have time to react should final regulations be issued this year. This puts employers at risk of being assessed these penalties in innocent situations (such as when employees take voluntary leaves of absences) and imposes additional costs, even in those situations where the vast majority of employees are offered affordable, comprehensive coverage.
  • Cadillac Tax – Recent data released is evidence of what you heard in the meeting–employers are reducing or eliminating rich plan designs in order to ensure they do not pay the tax, since doing so would represent a significant waste of money. At Delta, we did that last year as we eliminated one of the plan designs available to our pilot group specifically because it would have risked being subject to the Cadillac tax. However, keep in mind that, eventually, it is not just the “rich” plan designs that will be affected. Essentially, the Cadillac tax level represents a “ceiling” on the value of benefits provided in health plans. However, that ceiling rises each year only at the rate of the consumer price index (CPI). On the other hand, medical inflation is rising at a higher rate than CPI. The way the math works, given enough years, all plans will eventually risk being subject to the Cadillac Tax and as they do, the natural reaction will be to continually reduce benefits provided in order to avoid the tax.

At Delta we are doing a lot of positive things to provide a platform for our employees to live healthier, more productive lives. We offer free preventive coverage, we offer telemedicine services, a concierge nurse line and great tools that provide vital data (such as it exists) on quality and cost among the provider community. We provide incentives that reward employees for doing the things that help lead to better long-term health. But make no mistake—the costs imposed on Delta and our employees are very real and they are escalating. The costs mentioned above, when combined with normal medical inflation and the end of the [Early Retiree Reinsurance] program mean that the cost of providing health care to our employees will increase by nearly $100,000,000 next year. Delta will have to absorb the vast majority of that increase in costs so that we continue providing a high value, high quality health plan, but some of it will have to be shared with our employees as well. And of course, the balance that the company pays simply means less left over for other investments that make our business stronger.

In closing, the ACA is anything but business as usual for large employers like Delta. It represents real and significant changes that provide real challenges for both our company and our employees. Thank you for the opportunity to provide this input. If I can be of assistance in any other way, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Respectfully,

Robert L. Kight

Vice President, Global HR Services & Labor Relations

Delta Air Lines

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Businesses, Unions, Colleges all say employee hours being cut over Obamacare but WH says “no evidence”

NBC NEWS: Businesses, Unions, Colleges all say employee hours being cut over Obamacare but WH says “no evidence” » The Right Scoop –. Video at link.

But the White House, NBC News reports, says that there is no systematic evidence that this is because of Obamacare and dismisses the report as anecdotal.

You can elect to believe the White House or your own eyes and ears.

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Brevard County to cut back hours for some part-time employees

Brevard County to cut back hours for some part-time employees | www.wftv.com.

Hundreds of part-time Brevard County workers have had their hours cut as the county prepares for the implementation of Obamacare.

By 2015, Obamacare will require the county to provide health care for anyone working more than 30 hours per week, which means lots of companies are cutting back the hours of part-time employees.

Brevard County has over 300 part-time workers, many of whom are in the library and parks systems.

While officials don’t necessarily want to reduce hours for those employees, they’ll be forced to unless the county wants to pay for full-time health benefits.

Health benefits for each of Brevard’s part-time employees would cost about $10,000 per employee.

Oh, that would be a $3 million hit to the Brevard County budget!

I spend a lot of time in Brevard County many (many) years ago. Lots of fond memories.

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Many state run high risk pools to close

Time To Get Out Of The High-Risk Health Insurance Pool? : Shots – Health News : NPR.

The problem…

The online health insurance marketplaces can’t open soon enough for Chris and Kristi Petersen. Enrolled in the Iowa high-risk insurance pool because insurers on the private market won’t cover them, the couple pays more than $1,300 each month for a plan with a $2,500 annual deductible and a 20 percent copay for medical services. It’s more than they can afford.

“At the end of this year, these exchanges are either going to have to offer some relief, or I’m just going to quit working and let the welfare take care of us,” says Chris. “I’m fed up with it. I’m fed up with insurance.”

The potential solution

Starting next year, insurers will no longer be able to deny coverage to people because they’re sick, and high-risk pools will no longer be necessary for those patients.

Although shuttering high-risk pools will likely cause anxiety for those who rely on them, people may well find better, more affordable coverage on the state-based marketplaces (also called exchanges), which will open in October to offer plans that start in 2014.

“It’s likely that the premiums will be lower on the exchanges, the deductibles will be lower, and there will be no annual or lifetime [benefit] maximums,” says Jean Hall, director of the Institute for Health and Disability Policy Studies at the University of Kansas.

In addition, people who have incomes up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level ($45,960 for an individual in 2013) may be eligible for subsidies on the exchanges to make coverage more affordable.

The risk pools will have to close in self defense. Most people will leave voluntarily and at that point they will not be able to function from a financial perspective.

It sure would be nice to understand why the Petersen’s are uninsurable. Sometimes it’s a matter of working with the right insurance company, sometimes not.

Assuming a legitimate medical issue such as diabetes, heart attack, cancer, etc, to me, this is the problem health care reform is, or should be, trying to address.

This statement from Chris Peterson I also find troubling…

“At the end of this year, these exchanges are either going to have to offer some relief, or I’m just going to quit working and let the welfare take care of us,” says Chris. “I’m fed up with it. I’m fed up with insurance.”

I’m not debating the “fed up with insurance statement”. I’m concerned about “let the welfare take care of us”. If Chris is willing to quit his job yet keep his family income slightly above 133% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), he can maximize his subsidy and also receive additional Silver Plan benefits available only to insured’s whose income is < 250% of the FPL. (yes, he would have to sign up for a Silver plan.)

The incentive to “game the system” is laid out on a Silver platter to Chris and those like him.

Also, if I were Chris, I’d be out recruiting the young invincibles to sign up.

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Small business squirming from Obamacare

I really don’t believe people outside the castle walls would call this “unexpected”: 74% of small businesses will fire workers, cut hours under Obamacare | WashingtonExaminer.com.

Despite the administration’s controversial decision to delay forcing companies to join Obamacare for a year, three-quarters of small businesses are still making plans to duck the costly law by firing workers, reducing hours of full-time staff, or shift many to part-time, according to a sobering survey released by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

“Small businesses expect the requirement to negatively impact their employees. Twenty-seven percent say they will cut hours to reduce full time employees, 24 percent will reduce hiring, and 23 percent plan to replace full time employees with part-time workers to avoid triggering the mandate,” said the Chamber business survey provided to Secrets.

I believe there’s a 6 month lookback period on the determination of part time so if the small business portion of the Obamacare mandate hadn’t been delayed a year it would have been too late for these companies to change workers designation. I suppose they could have always fired them.

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Obamacare Causing Nearly Half Of Small Businesses To Freeze Hiring:

Obamacare Causing Nearly Half Of Small Businesses To Freeze Hiring: Poll.

Small business owners’ fear of the effect of the new health-care reform law on their bottom line is prompting many to hold off on hiring and even to shed jobs in some cases, a recent poll found.

“We were startled because we know that employers were concerned about the Affordable Care Act and the effects it would have on their business, but we didn’t realize the extent they were concerned, or that the businesses were being proactive to make sure the effects of the ACA actually were minimized,” said attorney Steven Friedman of Littler Mendelson. His firm, which specializes in employment law, commissioned the Gallup poll. (emphasis added – Ed)

Really? Attorney Steven Friedman needs to venture out into the real world a little more often.

Forty-one percent of the businesses surveyed have frozen hiring because of the health-care law known as Obamacare. And almost one-fifth—19 percent— answered “yes” when asked if they had “reduced the number of employees you have in your business as a specific result of the Affordable Care Act.”

So if you’re looking for a job, on average a small business isn’t a great place to start.

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Obamacare Forces Employee Hours to Be Cut at Indiana Schools

Obamacare Forces Employee Hours to Be Cut at Indiana Schools | The Weekly Standard.

Obamacare regulations are forcing employers to cut employee hours at Indiana schools, according to the Courier-Journal.

“Schools across Indiana are cutting back the hours of teacher assistants, bus drivers, cafeteria workers and other aides to avoid having to offer them health insurance under the federal health care employer mandate that begins next year,” reports the paper.

Expect this type of action to become more and more frequent.

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Unravel Obamacare and You Get a Train Wreck

Unravel Obamacare and You Get a Train Wreck.

Back to the Obama press conference yesterday…

“For the 85 to 90 percent of Americans who already have health insurance,” Obama helpfully informed his audience, “they’re already experiencing most of the benefits of the Affordable Care Act — even if they don’t know it.” Insisting that the implementation has already been accomplished for the already-insured, Obama claimed, “Now they don’t have to worry about anything else.”

Nonsense, scoffed Washington Post fact checker Glenn Kessler. “There are a variety of studies and reports that suggest that, beyond those groups, some 10 million people face the prospect of losing their current health care,” Kessler said in rebuttal to the President’s remarks.

It’s just not a pretty picture. Follow the link to read about:

  • Obamacare applicattion and extensive documentation on tangible assets, alimony and tips for your job
  • Employees being relagated to part time status
  • Reductions in Medicare reimbursements leading to fewer providers

Chaos is coming. Obamacare unleashes a trainwreck. What’s not to like?

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Obamacare killing jobs, crippling wealth creation

Urologist Dr. Cameron Schaeffer unloads on Obamacare: Obamacare killing jobs, crippling wealth creation | Op-Ed | Kentucky.com.

The correlation between a society’s wealth and the life expectancy of its citizens is no mystery. The trick, then, is to create wealth.

Wealth creation requires sound money, healthy markets, property rights, reasonable regulation and the rule of law. It requires an optimistic entrepreneurial class that believes its hard work and investments will pay off. When the entrepreneur confronts a task he does not want to do himself, a job is created, as long as the wage is worth his cost in time and money. When his costs are uncertain, he is afraid to hire.

Obamacare undermines nearly every fundamental of wealth and job creation. Five years into this recession, the economy is still down 3 million jobs; some economists are blaming the feared costs and uncertainties of Obamacare, even before full implementation of the law.

Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/2013/04/22/2610319/obamacare-killing-jobs-crippling.html#storylink=cpy

I’ll skip to the conclusion but you should read the whole thing.

As the wet blanket of Obamacare spreads over the nation, the limited, tragic vision of our leaders will be revealed. The Federal Reserve’s money presses will initially hide the costs of the law — the money spent and the lost revenues of economic stagnation. But when those costs are eventually passed to the states, already drowning under pension promises, the tragedy will come to an end, the king will have exited the stage, and the blind will see. And the poor will suffer.

If the government manages to get Obamacare started without to many birthing pains, I see Dr. Schaeffer’s scenario as quite plausible.

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Obamacare: Adjust instructors hours cut…

Colleges Curb Adjuncts’ Hours to Skirt Affordable Care Act Rules – Faculty – The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Allison G. Armentrout, an adjunct instructor at Stark State College, doesn’t get paid by the hour. She earns $4,600 to teach two English composition courses. But now she carefully tracks how many hours she works on an electronic time sheet.

On a recent week, she spent three hours preparing for her lectures, close to six hours in the classroom, and 16 more grading assignments for a grand total of about 25 hours. So she can breathe a sigh of relief because she won’t lose her job: She came in under the college’s new 29-hour-a-week wire designed to keep her ineligible for health-care coverage under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

No surprise, in fact I’d call it common sense.

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