Impact of Health Care Plan on Part-Time Workers Unclear

Related Story

COLUMBIA - Amid recent reports that some businesses and schools around the country are relying more on temporary workers or cutting back hours of part-time workers--to avoid healthcare costs under the Affordable Healthcare Act--the situation in Mid-Missouri is unclear.

Walmart told KOMU 8 News Tuesday, despite a Reuters report suggesting the company was increasing use of temporary workers, its full-time and part-time workers are avergaging three hours more per week since the beginning of the year.

Walmart spokesperson Kory Lundberg said temporary employees are eligible for healthcare benefits after one year.

But Lundberg acknowledged the company has increased the number of hours a part-time worker must work to be eligible for benefits.

"So part-time associates hired prior to February 1, 2012 are grandfathered under the old requirements, which was 24 hours a week to be eligible for benefits," Lundberg said. "Then those hired after February 1, 2012, they have to average 30 hours a week, which is in line with the Affordable Care Act."

Columbia Public Schools spokesperon Michelle Baumstark said the school has not changed its staffing because of the health care legislation. But she added healthcare costs are always a concern.

Jefferson City Schools spokesperson David Luther said his school district has made no changes in staffing because of the new heath care plan.

Some reports said the University of Missouri will begin limiting part-time employees hours beginning July 1, but an MU spokesperson did not comment.