Indiana Congressmen Lead With Proposed PPACA Changes

Two Indiana Congressmen are in the news for their efforts to make changes to the PPACA. Both Congressmen are working to amend the PPACA to limit the burden of the PPACA shared responsibility penalty upon employers.

Senator Joe Donnelly, a Democrat, co-sponsored a bill that would adjust the PPACA’s definition of full-time employment. The “Forty Hours is Full Time Act” would adjust the definition of full-time employment from 30 hours per week or 130 hours per month to 40 hours per week or 174 hours per month. Senator Donnelly is the first Democrat that voted for the PPACA to support a change to the PPACA’s definition of full-time employment. Senator Donnelly supports the change because he believes that most Americans believe that full-time employment is 40 hours per week.  In addition, the change will bring the PPACA in to line with other federal laws that define full-time employment as 40 hours per week. Further, the Senator expressed dismay that employers are cutting employee hours in order to classify employees as part time under the PPACA and avoid the law’s insurance mandate.

Representative Luke Messer, a Republican, indicated this week that he is drafting a bill that would exempt schools from the insurance mandates and penalties imposed by the PPACA. The legislation that the Representative is drafting is expected to apply to public and private schools along with universities. Many schools across the state of Indiana are working to determine how best to comply with the PPACA.

The reality in Indiana is that many, if not most, employers are reducing hours for non-benefit eligible employees to under 30 hours of service per week.  Particularly hard hit have been Indiana school corporations, which have been forced to implement dramatic reductions to respond to the PPACA shared responsibility penalties. In recent weeks, several newspaper and media reports have chronicled the impact of the PPACA upon Indiana public school corporations.

A press release issued by Senator Donnelly’s office providing information on the “Forty Hours Is Full Time Act” can be found here, and a press release providing quotes from employers that support the act can be found here.

A press release issued by Luke Messer’s office providing information on his efforts to draft a law that would exempt schools from the insurance mandates and penalties imposed by the PPACA can be found here.

About Jim Hamilton

I am an employee benefits partner with Bose McKinney & Evans LLP. My broad-based practice covers health and welfare arrangements, insurance, executive compensation and federal and state taxation. Among other areas, I have specific experience with PPACA, HIPAA, COBRA, ERISA and numerous other state and federal laws affecting employee benefit plans.
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