Obamacare call center hired part-timers, denied healthcare benefits

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A call center assisting Californians with Obamacare is now taking heat for giving half its employees part-time positions – meaning the staff will not receive the benefits they were hired to promote.

Contra Costa County officials thought landing the call center, scheduled to open Oct. 1, would be an economic boon for the area. After staff and city officials saw more than 7,000 people apply for just 180 positions, they were dismayed when they found out many of the jobs did not come with full-time work and benefits, according to the Contra Costa Times.

“What’s really ironic is working for a call center and trying to help people get health care, but we can’t afford it ourselves,” a worker, who asked to remain anonymous out of fear of losing the job, told the Times.

Along with a cut in the number of work hours, employees were given more bad news,
according to the Times:

Those who became part-time were told they would have to pay full freight on their health plans, ranging from $600 to $1,200 a month for a single worker and between $1,400 to $2,900 a month for an employee with a family. That is a steep bill for employees with part-time jobs paying from $15.33 to $18.63 an hour.

The Service Employees International Union Local 1021, which negotiated benefits for customer service agents, originally demanded that 80 percent of health insurance premiums be paid by the county. SEIU did not return the Times’ call for comment.

“It is very disappointing. I was under the impression these were going to be well-paying, well-compensated positions,” County Supervisor Mary Piepho told the Times. “We were really hopeful these would be jobs meeting the unemployment needs in our county and offer them the ability to make a living and support their families.”

Read the entire Contra Costa Times report here.

H/T: Daily Mail

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