Obamacare will cost the University of North Carolina System $47 million per year starting in 2015 for its 8,586 employees that exceed 30 hours per week that don’t have State insurance. This is a recurring annual expense. The workers include temporary/visiting faculty, graduate or teaching assistants, post-doctoral employees and student employees. This group is in addition to the primary UNC workforce that is already covered by the State Health Plan.
Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) employers are required to provide qualified health insurance plans to much of their workforce or face hefty fines. Due to this mandate, the University of North Carolina and other State government agencies, as employers, must provide healthcare coverage for certain non-permanent employees or face significant fines.
The University’s existing health plan is currently administered by the State Health Plan. At $5,435 per employee annually, this is an Unfunded mandate that will have a significant impact on the UNC system and state agency budgets. With approximately 8,586 qualifying employees (that exceed 30 hours but aren’t currently insured) in the University, UNC will have to find approximately $47 million to comply with the Affordable Care Act mandate (based on 2014 rates of $5,435 per employee – however costs may be higher in 2015).
State Health Care Costs History:
2014-15: $5,435 ($1,400 increase, +34% over last seven years)
The University is responding by seeking lower cost insurance and asking for approval to provide these workers a cheaper plan. It is also exploring cutting the hours of 50-75% these 8,586 employees to keep them under 30 hours per week.
The University hopes that by reducing the number of qualified employees’ hours (similar to Darden restaurants pilot program that it later reversed) and offering a lower cost plan – the cost impact could be reduced to $11-22 million per year. I would brace for a $30-50 million impact.
The implementation date is 1/1/2015 – so campuses has already started setting aside money to deal with the impact. Learn more by reading the UNC Board of Governors February 2014 meeting materials.