County discusses ACA affect

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Madison County will need to pay close attention to the hours it has part-time employees work in light of new requirements of the Affordable Care Act.

County Treasurer Judi Delesandri said at the Monday Commissioner’s Court meeting that department heads must be careful not to let part-time employees work more than 29 hours per week.

“If we have part-time employees using the (ACA) marketplace, and they claim they are a full-time employee, and they go over 29 hours one week out of the year, then we have to offer them insurance,” she said.

Delesandri said the commissioners, through the road precincts, have the bulk of the county’s part-timers.

“If we go over (the 29 hours), there is a fine, and we are opening ourselves up for an audit,” she said.

Delesandri said that regardless of what the employee reports to the government, it will increase county liability if it’s found the employee is indeed working more than the 29 hours per week.

Commissioner Phillip Grisham said that if an employee did go over that threshold, the county would only have to offer insurance for the week in question. While agreeing, Delesandri said it would be a human resources nightmare if it happened with any frequency.

She also said it would be costly.

“We pay $613 per month for each employee’s health benefits,” she said. “That’s about $150 per week, and that’s not in our annual budget. I’m saying, ‘Let’s don’t go there.’”

In other business, the county:

•approved seeking bids for Madison County ambulance services; and

•tabled approved an order authorizing fireworks sales on Texas Independence Day, in order to create a blanket order for the whole year.

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