Local News

Health care law could cost UNC system $46M

Posted March 5, 2014

— After years of having its budget squeezed by state budget cuts and rising enrollments, the University of North Carolina system now faces a potential $46 million hit from the Affordable Care Act.

Starting next year, large employers must provide insurance for all employees who work more than 30 hours a week. The UNC system has 8,586 visiting professors, graduate assistants and others who meet that threshold but don't qualify for coverage under the State Health Plan because they are considered non-permanent employees.

Under the Affordable Care Act, the university system would have to provide insurance to all of those workers. The average cost of state health insurance is about $5,400 per year, bringing the total potential cost to $46.4 million.

"This is an unfunded mandate that's coming down on us," said Charlie Perusse, chief operating officer for the UNC system and a former state budget director.

UNC administrators say they might reduce the hours for many of the temporary workers to fewer than 30 per week to dodge the health care law's coverage requirement.

"We're (also) going to seek legislation from the General Assembly that would allow us to create a more cost-effective health care plan that still meets ACA coverage requirements but would cost us about $2,000 less per employee," Perusse said.

Gov. Pat McCrory said the UNC impact is another example of the troubles with the health care law.

"The implementation of Affordable Care Act does have some very negative consequences on government operations in addition to the private sector," McCrory said.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • Bunghole Stench Mar 12, 2014

    99% of the people who work at UNC were happy to see Obama Care passed. I'm glad they will now realize some of the costs along with the rest of us.

  • teddymac12 Mar 6, 2014

    SMH....I love the bickering throughout the comments on who's right or wrong, just remember election time we have other choices people!! "A house divided cannot stand" ...Abe Lincoln..

  • Hubris Mar 6, 2014

    Here comes skyrocketing tuition hikes. The gap between rich and poor grows more wider every day under Obama.

  • LetsBeFair Mar 6, 2014

    thanks ... biggest blunder in presidential history.

  • ken11 Mar 6, 2014

    UNC should be embarrassed by the amount they overpaying in insurance and that they restricting the hours of 8,586 employees so they do not have to pay them any benefits.

    It sounds like UNC currently has a policy that restricts the number of hours of 8,586 employees so UNC can take advantage of their learned valuable employee and not have to offer them any benefits, go blue.
    UNC is currently paying $5,400 a year per person for medical insurance? A typical employer pays 50% of their employees insurance. $5400 divided by 12 is $450. That means a current policy costs about $900 a month per person. Yikes, who purchased that policy? UNC should be embarrassed to make this disclosure. Do state tax payers pay for this absurdity?

    UNC here is the good news! UNC no longer has to restrict the hours of 8,586 employees and they can offer their valuable employees benefits.

  • Confucius say Mar 6, 2014

    Fits right into Obama's goal of bringing down the country. And it's just starting.

  • lec02572 Mar 6, 2014

    Isn't BCBS of North Carolina non-profit? Also, under Obamacare insurance companies are guaranteed a profit. If they lose money the difference will be made up by those of us who pay tax.

  • gotnoid Mar 6, 2014

    Through the authority to levy a tax, the President and Kay Hagen have mandated compulsory heath insurance- The problems will be endless. This is another form of socialism where the government takes form one group to buy the votes of another.

  • Charles Harris Mar 6, 2014
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    View quoted thread

    I do not disagree that profit & money motivate. Good can & has come from organizations-companies that operate on a for profit status. But your premise that for profit is the sole factor for GOOD to occur is greatly flawed. Many people operate on the premise of recognition rather than wealth. Others do it for a self fulfilling need. There are many reasons, other than money, that bring about good.

    In reference to my suggestion of making certain industries nonprofits, I would refer you to the fact that vaccines for cholera, anthrax, rabies, tetanus, diphtheria were discovered prior to "need for greed" or the funding of for-profit institutions. Other medical advances were such as the discovery of asprin, penicillin, and insulin were also made without a for profit company. The point is that advances and solutions are not a sole result of a for profit company, but rather people who truly wish to make a difference.

  • veryfrustrated1 Mar 6, 2014

    View quoted thread

    And you do realize that the all the dems trying to get re-elected are making clear just how much they know that obamacare is despised!!! And not just because it is named after the foreign national in the white house!