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Morgan BOE informed about Affordable Care fines

Published 12:18pm Friday, January 17, 2014

Morgan County Schools could be forced to pay $2 million in fines to the federal government after Jan. 1, 2015, unless the school system provides health insurance coverage for at least 95 percent of its employees.

This information was passed on to school board members by chief school finance officer John Godwin at a work session Jan. 9, during which time he reviewed provisions of the Affordable Care Act.

“We are required to provide health care insurance for all of our employees as long as their work week averages 30 or more hours over the course of a year,” Godwin pointed out. “Currently, we are at 97 percent coverage. If we remain at that level in 2014, our fine would be $40,000 based on a fine of $3,000 for every employee not covered by health insurance. If the average dropped below 95 percent, the fine would be $2,000 times every employee in the system, or $2 million.”

Godwin said the state is recommending that school system employees not be allowed to work multiple jobs as a means of keeping part-time employees such as substitute teachers under the 30-hour cap.

“Our ultimate goal is the have everyone covered,” he pointed out.

“We’re monitoring this in the finance department,” Godwin stated, “and we’ll take steps to keep them updated about their hours.”

He said employees currently without health care insurance are mostly substitute teachers and contract workers.

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