CAMC will begin cutting health care coverage for its part-time employees next year as part of a plan to trim costs by 2018, a hospital spokesman said Tuesday.
The hospital chain began informing its part-time employees last week that it will no longer offer insurance benefits to employees working 20 to 23 hours per week beginning Jan. 1, CAMC spokesman Dale Witte said.
The hospital currently offers benefits to employees that work more than 20 hours a week. Witte said 246 workers would be affected by the change.
Witte said the change is part of a four-year transition to cut costs by limiting coverage to only those employees working 30 or more hours a week.
He said the hospital chain wants to limit costs to avoid an Affordable Care Act tax on high-cost health care plans set to take effect in 2018.
"Part of health care reform's effect is that large employers have to take a look at who they cover," Witte said. "Most are planning to make some changes to their plan over the next four years."
Beginning in 2015, large employers will have to cover all full-time employees - defined as those working 30 or more hours a week - or pay a penalty.
A separate aspect of the law is a so-called Cadillac tax, which will kick in three years later and is designed to penalize employers offering high-end health care plans.
Under the law, any employer offering a plan that costs more than $10,200 for individuals or $27,500 for families will have to pay a 40 percent excise tax on the amount that exceeds the threshold.
CAMC currently provides insurance to 4,881 employees. With spouses and dependents included, those plans cover 9,668 lives, Witte said.
Witte said the hospital self-insures those employees, meaning their benefits emphasize that they use services provided through the CAMC hospital chain.
Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of West Virginia provides administrative support for those plans.