Obamacare forces work hour limits for CMU students - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Obamacare forces work hour limits for CMU students

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(07/23/13) - College students at one Mid-Michigan school who work more than 25 hours a week will take a big pay cut beginning next year.

Central Michigan University says to meet requirements under the federal healthcare reform law, students cannot exceed that workload.

This policy change is a big blow to students who rely on the extra cash to pay for books, rent and other expenses.

Lauren Kramer will be a senior this fall at CMU. She's worked on campus since she was a freshman. "My paychecks go towards groceries and rent, and going out on the weekends."

That spending plan might change because Lauren won't be working as many as hours as she would like at the CMU bookstore. During the bookstore's peak hours, she's exceeded the amount currently allowed by the university. "Sometimes you can hit 40 hours, or a little over, I've hit in the past. This time, we will have to be more careful, and 25 hours, it will sting a little bit, but we'll just have to deal with it. People will be upset, but you have to go with it," Kramer said.

Under the federal healthcare law, Central Michigan students will be limited to 25 hours a week, effective next year. CMU hires 5,700 students during the year to work on campus - the school says 140 students will be impacted by the policy change.

"Students can still continue to work full time during the summer. Currently, we don't limit them, and many universities do, so one of the things this change will do is align us with other schools as well, " said CMU Human Resources Vice President Lori Hella.

Starting this fall, Scott Stewart will work two university jobs. His total hours must not exceed the new limit. "Students use that money to pay for finances and school and I think it's going to become increasingly harder for them to pay for school when we can only work 25 hours."

CMU has plenty of financial incentive to stay within the workplace guidelines. A $5 million penalty could be imposed if they don't offer healthcare to students who exceed workload limits.

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