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Thursday, May 09, 2013

Ind. Gov't. - "Blogger wrong about eliminating full-time IU staff"

That is the headline to this story today in the $$$ Bloomington Herald-Times, reported by Dann Denny. The subhead: "IU spokesman Land says some hours will be cut to avoid insurance costs, but viral Web post was ‘inaccurate’". The long story begins:

Indiana University spokesman Mark Land is calling a blogger’s accusation that Indiana University is circumventing the provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act by eliminating full-time hourly employees from its workforce “both incomplete and inaccurate.”

The assertions by the blogger, Dan Bimrose, drew a wider audience this week when they were republished by the Huffington Post.

“The writer indicated that IU will no longer have full-time hourly employees as result of a new definition of full-time worker soon to be enacted under the provisions of the ACA,” he told The Herald-Times Wednesday afternoon. “That is categorically false. Full-time employees who are paid by the hour already are entitled to medical benefits and will continue to receive them. In fact, IU will insure more of these employees next fiscal year due to the change in the definition of full-time employment.”

Land, who wrote a forceful denial of the blogger’s claims in his own blog that now appears on the Huffington Post, said the blogger based his conclusions on a portion of an administrative presentation to the IU Board of Trustees that outlined the implications of the ACA “on IU’s medical care spending and IU’s effort to balance its obligations to employees with those to the taxpayers of the state of Indiana, which help support the university, and to our students who expect an affordable education.”

Land said that presentation cited the ACA’s definition of a full-time employee as one who works at least 30 hours a week, which represents a change from the previous definition of full time as 40 hours per week. He said this new definition has prompted IU to limit part-time hourly employees to fewer than 30 hours per week beginning with its new fiscal year July 1.

“This is much different than eliminating full-time hourly employees as has been written,” Land said. “At IU, this group of (part-time hourly) employees is typically student and seasonal workers, none of whom currently qualify for medical coverage because they don’t regularly work 40 hours a week. Additionally, in the case of students, most likely already have medical insurance through their parents.”

Posted by Marcia Oddi on May 9, 2013 01:25 PM
Posted to Indiana Government