Franklin commissioners OK expanding insurance

Two Franklin County employees will get a nice Christmas present.

County commissioners decided Monday to give part-time employees who are not represented by a union full-time health care benefits.

The recent federal health care reform act requires most employers to start offering full-time benefits to part-time employees by Jan. 1, said County Administrator Fred Bowen. The act exempts public agencies and governments from providing that level of benefits if they have a written policy that they don't provide benefits to part-time workers.

But Bowen said the county has provided full-time health coverage to some part-time non-bargaining employees such as the commissioner's clerk and the assistant coroner. A part-time employee at TRAC and in the county's human resources department were receiving only pro-rated benefits, he said.

Commission Chairman Brad Peck said nonbargaining employees should be treated consistently. The change will cost about $7,300 in 2011.