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 23-hundred 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’ committee today (Monday) that it was a struggle to find an insurance provider who would work with them.
KNORR: And we probably have done four or five solicitations --- bids, RFI’s, RFP’s, RFI’s --- and got no responses. 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 one-point-six million dollars a year --- if all the eligible employees sign up for it.
But then, there’s the challenge of fitting the new health insurance cost into the U of I 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 – currently scheduled to come to the board of trustees in November.