Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) introduced S. 1188, the Forty Hours is Full-Time Act, earlier this year. The bill aims to modify certain provisions in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to define a “full-time employee” as someone who works forty hours a week. The ACA, as it’s currently written, classifies “full-time employees” as anyone who works thirty hours a week or more. S.1188 would allow employees to work more than 30 hours a week without triggering penalties under the ACA on the businesses that hire them.
The National Association of Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) urges its members to contact their senators and ask them to sponsor the Forty Hours is Full Time Act.
The ACA as written could have serious consequences for home care providers, caregivers and those in need of home care services. The majority of home care workers do not receive employee health insurance because home care agencies have three problems that are fairly unique: reliance on government programs such as Medicaid that won’t cover the increased costs of providing health insurance; consumers of private pay home care that are often elderly and disabled with fixed low incomes; and a home care workforce with widely varying work hours.
Home care agencies that are unable to provide health insurance or absorb the ACA penalties will have to restrict their employees to no more than 29 hours per week to ensure their workers are considered part-time under the ACA. Millions of home care workers could find their hours, and thus their earnings, are cut back at a time when many of them are already struggling.
Given how high the stakes are, we encourage you to contact your Senator and ask them to support the Forty Hours is Full-Time Act today.