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Examiner
  • School district staying on top of health care changes

  • The Blue Springs School District is making changes now so that when Jan. 1 comes along, it is compliant with new federal regulations regarding health care.

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  • The Blue Springs School District is making changes now so that when Jan. 1 comes along, it is compliant with new federal regulations regarding health care.
    The Blue Springs Board of Education on Tuesday approved contracting with Frontline Technologies Inc. to provide a substitute and attendance management software system. The system, AESOP, will allow the district to better track its substitutes in all departments. The ability to track substitutes will become more imperative when a large portion of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act goes into affect Jan. 1, 2014. The idea behind the law is to make it not only easier, but more affordable for people without employer-offered health care to purchase insurance in the marketplace.
    Individuals who do not have insurance by 2014 will be required to pay a fee. Employers with more than 50 people that do not provide minimal coverage will also be subjected to a fee. In addition, if the employer does not provide the type of insurance that the federal government deems sufficient, an additional fee will be assessed.
    In addition, employers are required to provide insurance to part-time employees, those who work more than 30 hours per week or 120 hours per month. This includes substitute teachers or other substitutes in classified positions such as food service or transportation.
    Superintendent Paul Kinder said the district has the ability to look at substitutes on a three or 12 month basis, whichever the district chooses. During this time, an employer can look at an employee’s eligibility status as it affects health care benefits, and whether that employee averaged 30 hours a week or more during the period. If an employee has averaged more than the hours allowed in a week or month, then the employer must provide health insurance coverage.
    Kinder said Blue Springs is lucky because it has a health care package in place for part-time employees. He said, others, however, will not be as lucky.
    “So many are going to be caught off guard with this,” he said. “They don’t know what is going on, so many people are going to come up short (when the policy goes into effect).”
    In addition to tracking a substitute’s hours, the AESOP software provides other features. The system will allow for multiple types of substitutes including classified, long-term and permanent and will create reports at no additional charge. The system can also tell if substitutes are working in another district, allowing for another substitute to be called rather than notifying one that is already working.
     
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