UNC Is Considering Hour Cuts, Other Options To Pay For Health Coverage

Mar 7, 2014

The 'Old Well' UNC-Chapel HIll
Under Obamacare, UNC will have to offer health insurance to employees working 30 hours a week or more, including graduate teaching assistants and visiting faculty.
Credit Caroline Culler / Wikipedia

Individuals are enrolling in health care through the federal online marketplace, but thousands of North Carolinians might find themselves with employer-sponsored health plans next year.   

In January, the Affordable Care Act will require businesses to offer health insurance to full-time employees working 30 hours a week or more. This would now include graduate teaching assistants and visiting faculty at the University of North Carolina.

This week, the conservative web site CampusReform.Org reported it could cost the UNC System about $47 million to insure these employees under the current State Health Plan. The site reported cutting hours would be pretty much inevitable.

But UNC's Chief Operating Officer Charles Perusse said they're looking at numerous options.

"We are hoping to work with the General Assembly this year to offer a healthcare plan for our UNC system employees that meets ACA requirements, but adds a lower cost based on their healthcare risk," Perusse said. "And we think that could save about $2,000 per employee if we go down that road."

Perusse says UNC's individual campuses will be able to make their own plans of action at the end of the summer.