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Mar 19, 2014 10:37 AM EDT

Obamacare: Colorado Mountain College To Cut Hours To Avoid Costs Of Affordable Care Act

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Colorado Mountain College is cutting professors' hours to minimize Obamacare's large financial impact, Campus Reform reported.

Adjunct professors who work at one of Colorado Mountain College's 11 community college campuses are prohibited from working more than 30 hours per week. The institution is cutting the hours to avoid having to offer insurance to adjunct professors, Campus Reform reported.

The Affordable Care Act requires that large employers, such as Colorado Mountain College which employs roughly 600 adjunct professors, offer insurance to non-permanent employees who work more than 30 hours a week.

Debbie Crawford, the school's public information officer, told Campus Reform that the college relies heavily on adjunct professors   because they "give the school the flexibility to change with student needs each semester."

"We are open enrollment, so that means students can enter at whatever level they need, so our student body changes greatly from semester to semester," Crawford said. "It wouldn't be financially prudent to just add more full-time faculty without considering all of the expenses."

The University of North Carolina is another college that is considering cutting hours and jobs to avoid the financial impact of the Affordable Care Act.

Unions and advocacy groups are opposed to the practice of cutting employee hours to avoid buying them health insurance.

"Penalizing part-time faculty members both by depriving them access to affordable health care as intended by law and by reducing their income," reads a statement from the American Association of University Professors.

However, Crawford said careful budgeting moves similar to this one have made the institution the third most affordable public college for bachelor's degrees in the United States.

Campus Reform reported that only six adjunct professors at the school have had their contracts adjusted due to the new policy. 

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