Employers, physicians and the ACA

The ACA requires employers to provide health insurance coverage to those working 30 hours a week or more or pay a penalty.

Last month, The Hill’s health care blog, Healthwatch, reported that some small colleges in Ohio and Pennsylvania are limiting the hours adjunct professors can teach to hold them under the 30-hour threshold. Today, the Associated Press reports that Virginia state agencies are under orders to reduce part-time employees to a maximum of 29.

In Florida, the 30-hour-and-up distinction translates to about 10,000 temporary, contract workers who will now be eligible for insurance, according to the Miami Herald.

And California doesn’t have enough doctors to treat its newly insured (regardless of how many hours the employees—or the doctors—will be working). According to Friday’s LA Times, “just 16 percent of California’s 58 counties have the government’s recommended supply of primary care physicians… [and] nearly 30 percent of the state’s doctors are nearing retirement age.”

California lawmakers are proposing the state fill the gap by expanding the scope of practice for nurses, physician assistants, pharmacists and optometrists. The California Medical Association disagrees, stressing patient safety concerns.

And not surprisingly, Staffing Industry Analysts reports that health care workers’ confidence in the availability of jobs across the country, and their ability to get one, is rising.

Rachel Schwartz