Bipartisan Bill Would Redefine ‘Full-Time’ Employee Under ACA

Healthcare_reformSenators Susan Collins and Joe Donnelly will introduce a bill today that bumps the health care law’s definition of full-time work from 30 to 40 hours a week.

Business owners have complained that the current 30-hour definition is inconsistent with how full-time work is typically defined and say it could lead to more workers having their hours cut. The Affordable Care Act requires employers with more than 50 full-time employees to offer health coverage.

The Collins-Donnelly bill would also clear up some lingering confusion over which employers are considered “large” under the law. The legislation would set the number of hours counted toward a full-time equivalent employee to 174 hours per month.

“Most Hoosiers I know think 40 hours is full time,” Donnelly said in a statement provided to POLITICO. “We need to change the definition of a ‘full-time employee’ in the Affordable Care Act to bring it in line with what most Americans have traditionally recognized as full time. We also need to provide clarity to employers so they have the information they need to run their businesses and plan for the future.”

The lawmakers also asked President Barack Obama to delay the employer penalty for failing to offer affordable health coverage beyond Jan. 1, when it is scheduled to take effect.

“We strongly urge the administration to work with the employer community to provide ample transition flexibility beyond Jan. 1, 2014, free from the threat of penalty, in order for them to fully comply with the proposed requirements,” they wrote in a letter to the president today.

Stay tuned for a call to action to urge Florida Senators Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio to cosponsor this critical legislation.

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