Now that the Affordable Care Act is the law of the land, businesses across the country are having to make adjustments to follow federal law and mandates.
For some businesses there has not been much change to their operations. For other businesses, the changes are being felt.
"In anticipation of 2014 Affordable Care Act Requirements," City of Dodge City Human Resources director Barb Slagle said, the City of Dodge City in October 2013 changed their policy of how they define regular part-time workers."
The policy of part-time workers at the time was defined as someone working 20-39 hours per week.
"Due to requirements of the ACA," said Slagle, "the city changed the definition of regular part-time to be split into two categories instead of one:
Regular Part-Time I; a person working 20-29 hours weekly – are employees appointed for an unspecified duration to a position which requires regular attendance for a minimum of 20 working hours within a 7-day pay period but less than 30 working hours for a 7-day pay period.
"Employment under this type of appointment is eligible for single health and dental, along with a pro-rated benefit package according to the number of hours worked.
"Regular Part-Time II; a person working over 30 hours weekly – employees appointed for an unspecified duration to a position which requires regular attendance for a minimum of 30 hours within a 7-day pay period but less than 40 hours for a 7-day pay period.
"Employment under this type of appointment is eligible for family health and dental, along with a pro-rated benefit package according to the number of hours worked.
"Regular full-time employees and regular part-time employees working over 30 hours weekly, along with their eligible dependents, may be enrolled in group life, medical and dental insurance with the City. Regular part-time employees working 20-29 hours weekly may be enrolled in single coverage in the same programs.
"This was done to comply with the Affordable Care Act requirement that working over 30 hours per week for large employers qualifies employees for health insurance."
All of the changes were more the part-time employees benefits that are required by the ACA. The city had always provided benefits to its full-time and regular part-time employees.
While the city make its changes to fit the required criteria, USD 443 in Dodge City is also considered a "large" employer of more than 100 employees.
"Beginning January 1 2015, or start of the plan year during 2015, employers with more than 100 employees are required to offer health care coverage to 70 percent of their full-time employees," Susan Scherling, executive director of human resources for USD 443 said.
"Currently, that 70 percent goes up to 95 percent of employees on January 1, 2016.
"The plan year for USD 443 runs October 1-September 30 annually. So, beginning October 1, 2015, approximately 70 additional employees with USD 443 will be eligible and offered health care coverage."
With the school district, there was concern on whether or not the new law would effect things in the classroom.
"It will not affect the classroom," USD 443 business and finance director Bill Hammond said. "There is a new cost we are having to take into consideration but it will not effect the classroom. We have met with insurance consultants so we can get into compliance with the new law properly."
For other businesses, the new ACA law will not effect them in any way.
"We are really lucky with the insurance plan we already had," Victory Electric human resources manager Amy Grasser said. "We are on a group insurance plan with eight other cooperatives so there was no change at all to anything we were already doing. The one difference simply was the added paperwork that came with the requirements needed. Other than that it has been business as usual for us. We were very fortunate to not have any impact."