Employers Not Talking to Part-Timers About ACA

May 8, 2013 (PLANSPONSOR.com) – Many part-time employees are confused about what the impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will be and are not getting much help from their employers.

According to a survey by The Workforce Institute at Kronos Incorporated, most part-time workers have heard of the ACA: 71% said they are familiar with the changes associated with it; 21% said they have not heard anything about it; and 7% said they have heard the name but are not at all familiar with the changes associated with it. Information about the ACA is coming from a variety of sources: the news media (61%), friends and family (38% each) and social media (36%) were the most cited sources. However, only 8% said they heard about the ACA from their employer.   

When asked how they felt about the changes associated with the ACA, 27% said “confused”, 25% said “hopeful” and 22% said “angry.” When asked if they thought their health care would cost more or less, 45% think it will cost more; 30% are not sure; 17% said it would not be impacted; and 9% think it will cost less.    

Forty-eight percent of part-time employees do not think the ACA will have any impact on how many hours they are scheduled to work; 33% are not sure; 15% think they will be scheduled for less hours; and 4% think they will be scheduled for more hours.

Under the ACA, employers must offer health insurance to employees who work 30 hours or more, but employers with seasonal, temporary or part-time workers may find challenges in tracking this (see “Employers With Part-Time Workers Face Challenges Under PPACA”).  

Joyce Maroney, director of The Workforce Institute, Kronos Incorporated, said: "Organizations have a lot of work to do to get ready for complying with the Affordable Care Act in January 2014. Our survey found that 44% of part-time workers do not use an automated system to capture their time, and 64% report their part-time employers don't use an automated scheduling solution. This means that a lot of folks are doing this work manually, and they'll have a hard time complying with the look-back and reporting requirements of the legislation. Perhaps more troubling, 36% of workers say that the hours they work are different from the hours they are scheduled to work, which could present a liability issue for employers. The time to start putting a strategy for compliance in place is now."   

The survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Kronos from April 12 to 16, 2013, among 2,066 adults ages 18 and older, among whom 249 are employed part-time.