This new definition of a full time worker is seen as one of the most damaging parts of the Affordable Care Act. Under the act, businesses who employ 50 or more full time workers must provide health care insurance. But the Act defines “full time” as anyone who works only 30 hours or more. I think I can state with certainty that in todays world, everyone agrees that working only 30 hours a week is NOT ENOUGH to provide a full time livable income, no matter what state you live in.
Most companies define full time jobs as having 33 or higher hours per week. So what is the big deal about moving the definition down to just 30 hours per week? Wouldn’t that mean that more companies would have to pay for health insurance for their employees? That is what President Obama would like to happen but it won’t. In fact it will actually hurt tens of tens of thousands of workers.
Lets look at an example:
Before ObamaCare, if a company employed 30 people at 33 hours (or more) and 20 people at 30 hours, that company would only have 30 full time workers which is below the requirement of 50 and that company would NOT have to pay for health insurance for any of their employees.
After ObamaCare though, those 20 workers working a 30 hour week would also be classified as full time workers which would bring the total up to 50 and under the Affordable Care Act that company WOULD have to provide insurance for all its 50 workers.
Thats good right? That is how the ACA wants things to work in a perfect world in its attempt to make it so that more companies have to provide health insurance coverage. But we don’t live in a perfect world and that is the problem.
You see, in the real world that is NOT HOW THINGS WILL HAPPEN!
Instead, what is more likely to happen is that companies will continue to find ways to keep their employee number count under 50. That means they will cut the hours of some employees who work between 33 and 40 hours down to 29 hours to keep them under the new definition of a full time worker. Even though many small businesses would like to be able to afford health insurance for their employees, the simple fact is that they just can’t afford it. Period.
This will likely happen: tens of thousands of people across the country who will be let go or have their hours reduced in order to keep their employer under that magic mark of 50 workers working full time. Money does not grow on trees and if there is no money for health care, you can’t make an employer pay for it. They will either find a work around or they will quit and close up shop. The tactic most companies will try first is to reduce worker hours.
This new definition of 30 hours being a full time employee is one of the worst parts of the Affordable Care Act. What it will do is to force employers to cut employee hours and it will happen to the segment of society that is already struggling the most. It will be devastating to the economy and make it even harder to make a decent living in America. Many people will get their hours cut AND still have no health insurance. For them, ObamaCare will be a lose – lose.