Employers Cut Work Hours to Avoid Obamacare

Even though the Obama administration has delayed the employer mandate requiring companies with 50 or more “full-time” employees (working 30 hours or more a week) to offer their workers health insurance or pay a penalty, many employers have already taken steps to avoid the law by cutting work hours. The recent trend in restricted work hours is affecting everyone from police dispatchers to prison guards, cafeteria workers and part-time professors.

Expanded Medicaid Fills Insurance Gap for Part Time Workers

Many of those working less than 30 hours a week, and fortunate to live in one of the 25 states, including Oregon, that have opted for expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), will be eligible for insurance coverage with this federally funded program.

In Oregon, 45 percent of workers earn $15 or less an hour. Those working only 29 hours a week at $15 an hour, therefore, receive a yearly income of only $22,620. Expanded Medicaid under the new law provides coverage for those at or below 138% of the federal poverty level, earning an income of $15,856 per year for a household of one, $28,704 for a family of two, and $32,499 for a household of four.

Federal Government Will Pay 90-100% Through 2020

Under the Affordable Care Act, the federal government will initially cover 100% of Medicaid costs for newly eligible enrollees, and will continue to cover those costs through 2016, and then begin to phase down its support. However, by 2020, the federal government will still pay 90% of the costs.

See www.statereforum.org for a map showing states in the US expanding Medicaid.