Employers around the country are starting to make their voices heard in Washington after realizing the full impact of redefining full-time as 30 hours per week for health benefits.

A group of businesses recently met with their congressional representatives during their home state office hours to explain the impact on their companies of the new full-time definition. Some explained that their companies felt forced to cut workers hours, others said they felt that 35 hours per week was a more accurate definition of full-time. As always, employers will have the option of offering coverage to anyone working fewer hours than the minimum.

Because the new 30-hour definition is included in the statutes under the Affordable Care Act, it will take an act of Congress to change it. Several members of Congress have become vocal on this issue and legislation has been introduced, dubbed the “Forty Hours is Full-Time Act,” that would change the definition from 30 hours to 40 hours. The bill has a small chance of passing, however, unless employers are successful in convincing Congress and especially Senate Democrats that the 30-hour definition will have detrimental impacts on employees and businesses.

If you wish to contact your congressperson on this issue, I can help! Just shoot me an email at mduffy@the-alliance.org.

Melissa Duffy

Melissa Duffy

Melissa Duffy was the health policy consultant to The Alliance from 2008 through 2014, working to support health care advocacy within the cooperative's membership to help improve the cost and quality of health care and health insurance for businesses in Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa. Melissa’s previous experience includes serving as the director of government affairs for the Wisconsin Federation of Cooperatives (WFC) and working in the Wisconsin State Capitol as clerk and lead policy advisor to the Senate Committee on Health, Human Services, Aging, Utilities and Veterans and Military Affairs. Melissa received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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Melissa Duffy