Beginning next semester, ACU will have to pay about $204,000 in additional benefits to employees under the Affordable Care Act.
Stacey McGee, associate chief financial officer, said she is working on adjusting the university’s budget to accommodate additional costs attributable to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The act, more commonly referred to as ObamaCare or the Affordable Care Act, was signed into law by President Obama in March of 2010, and portions of it went into affect Oct. 1.
“This past summer ACU had to pay the first taxes related to the Affordable Care Act and, starting in January, we will have to provide additional benefits to our employees,” McGee said. “These expenses are from taxes that ACU now has to pay and additional benefits that we are required to provide to our employees.”
It is likely that these costs will rise in the future but, because the laws are continuing to be changed, when or how much they will change is unclear, McGee said.
The ACU budget office is working on reevaluating the budget to avoid cutting funding in other areas, such as alumni relations or scholarships, she said.
“The Affordable Care Act will cause us to adjust our budget,” McGee said. “However, for fiscal year 2015, we will be able to absorb these costs in our current budget for benefits.”
As part of the platform President Obama ran on in 2008, the bill was heavily debated and still faces much opposition around the country. It was the biggest change to America’s healthcare system since the laws creating Medicare and Medicaid were passed in 1965.
The aim of ObamaCare is to extend health insurance to more Americans, especially the disabled and unemployed, who previously would not have been able to afford it. When looked at long term, the Congressional Budget Office found that ObamaCare is projected to lower the federal deficit and Medicare spending in the future.
New taxes have been created to encourage people to sign up for insurance as new regulations are starting to go into effect around the country. In addition, existing plans are required to offer a minimum level of coverage in many areas.