EGCC prepares for health care law change

By Denise Dick


Eastern Gateway Community College is trying to determine how to address changes related to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also called Obamacare.

Sherri VanTassel, vice president for administrative services at Eastern Gateway, said in an email that the college is:

Assessing the best way to track actual hours worked by all employees.

Monitoring a spreadsheet to look at trends of hours being requested by supervisors for adjunct faculty, part-time employees and full-time employees.

Reviewing the massive amount of information that is being developed regarding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act especially as it applies to higher education.

Last November, Youngstown State University capped its part-time faculty members at 24 semester hours to comply with the new law.

With implementation of the law, the Internal Revenue Service defines “full time” as an employee who works at least 30 hours per week. The number of hours worked determines whether a faculty member is eligible for health care from the YSU.

Although the health-care law takes effect in 2014, it will be based on hours worked during this academic year.

VanTassel said that all Eastern Gateway employees potentially are affected.

“The number of adjuncts changes semester to semester as enrollment changes, but certainly we will monitor their hours to determine that they stay below the defined threshold,” she said in the email.

Part-time employees who contract for other duties may be affected if their teaching duties move them above the threshold and full-time employees may have to take on additional classes or duties because of the need to shift hours.

“Full-time staff who may have contracted for additional classes or duties in the past may also see a decrease in these auxiliary duties in order to try and distribute the work in a more equitable manner for the best interest of the students,” the vice president said.

The college is in what VanTassel calls a measurement period to determine if hours must be cut or shifted from one employee to another.

“Eastern Gateway has asked its supervisors to be conservative in assignment of hours during this measurement period,” she said.

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