Healthcare Cost Woes for Millcreek School District
The Millcreek school district faces higher healthcare costs every year - a 6.4 percent, or an extra $600,000 this year - but that could soon be much more with the Affordable Care Act.
Tuesday, March 11th 2014, 12:26 AM EDT
The Millcreek School Board met on Monday night to discuss a number of issues that will impact their finances. One of those issues: health care.
Though the district faces higher healthcare costs every year - a 6.4 percent, or an extra $600,000 this year - but that could soon be much more with the Affordable Care Act.
Preliminary estimates show that 20 part-time employees who hold food or custodial positions, and 51 substitute teachers in the district would qualify for health insurance (for both themselves and their families) under the Act.
Obamacare mandates that any employee who works more than 30 hours per week be provided with health benefits, which would raise costs for the district by more than $500,000 per year.
This, all while the Millcreek district is working to bridge a $4.4 million dollar budget gap.
It's a problem that's not unique to Millcreek. Erie school district is grappling with a similar problem, and also faces a deficit.
One option that both districts are considering is to outsource the hiring - and therefore, also the providing of insurance - to a third-party company, called Kelly Educational Services.
Girard, Corry, Warren, and Fairview schools all already use Kelly Services to find substitute teachers.
"It's a huge concern. It's right up there with the increases in the retirement contributions and it's something every district has to face. as you know, we're scratching and clawing at all of our dollars," said William Hall, superintendent of Millcreek schools. "Anything adding to our budget is a concern, and the certainly the Affordable Care Act is one of those."
Kelly Services will be officially presented to the board at the next meeting.