Colleges still don’t have official guidance on how to determine whether their adjuncts work enough hours to be eligible for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, the new health-care-reform law.
But at least two institutions, the University of Central Oklahoma and the College of DuPage, in Illinois, have decided to offer health benefits to a small share of their part-time faculty members anyway.
A more-common response to the new federal rules on health-insurance eligibility has been for colleges to cut adjuncts’ workloads to less than 30 hours a week. That move is designed to keep adjuncts’ hours below the threshold at which colleges must provide them with health insurance, starting in 2014.
Because the Internal Revenue Service hasn’t offered a formula for calculating the amount of time adjuncts spend on the job—they are typically paid per course and not by the hour—colleges have been grappling with how to translate courses taught into hours worked. Employers that fail to comply with the law will be fined.
Central Oklahoma and DuPage both plan to create a new “lecturer” classification for instructors who work off the tenure track and teach at least 75 percent of a full-time professor’s course load. Those faculty members will have access to the same health-insurance coverage as their full-time colleagues. <Read more.>