U of I Comptroller Notes New Healthcare Costs in 2016
The University of Illinois is grappling with a requirement of the Affordable Care Act that takes effect in 2016. Effective January 1st, the university will have to offer health insurance to all employees working 30 hours a week or more. That will include some 2,300 so-called contingent or temporary employees who don’t qualify for the healthcare that other state workers receive.
U of I Comptroller Walter Knorr told a U of I trustees’ Audit, Budget, Finance and Facilities Committee Monday that it was a struggle to find an insurance provider who would work with them.
“And we probably have done four or five solicitations --- bids, RFI’s, RFP’s, --- and got no responses,” said Knorr. “And the last time around, we finally got one viable response that we’re trying to work with.”
Knorr says the new health insurance coverage could cost the university up to $1.6 million a year --- if all the eligible employees sign up for it. But if fewer workers take the coverage, Knorr says the total cost could fall below one million dollars, in which case it would not even need approval by the Board of Trustees.
Whatever the cost of the healthcare coverage, the University of Illinois will face the challenge of fitting the new health insurance cost into its operating budget --- when that budget has been delayed by the state budget impasse.
Knorr says unless Governor Rauner and state lawmakers resolve the budget impasse “very shortly”, the university will have to delay work on its own operating budget for the next fiscal year. It’s currently scheduled to come to the board of trustees in November.