These 5 Part-Time Jobs Offer Full-Time Health Benefits
Without health insurance, an emergency room visit or a major health issue requiring expensive treatment could lead to debt, lousy credit or even bankruptcy.
While the Affordable Care Act, or ACA, allows millions of people to choose a government-subsidized healthcare plan, many people are ineligible for subsidies. Among those who qualify, many choose not to participate.
The main health insurance option for many people is through their employer. Around 49% of the country’s total population receive employer-sponsored health insurance, also called group health insurance, according to 2019 data from the Kaiser Family Foundation.
And contrary to what you may assume, you don’t need a full-time job to be eligible for health insurance benefits.
Part-Time Work Defined
Part-time workers are defined by law as those working fewer than 30 hours per week for the same employer. The ACA doesn’t require businesses of any size to provide employer-sponsored health insurance to part-time employees.
Large businesses are required to offer health insurance to full-time workers. Small businesses, on the other hand, aren’t required by the ACA to provide health insurance.
This means you’re less likely to get health insurance benefits from a small employer, especially if you work part time.
Some companies have raised the threshold for health coverage to 30 hours per week. Work less than that and you don’t qualify for health benefits at those companies. Instead, you must turn to state or federal insurance exchanges.
Whole Foods made this change in 2019, increasing the weekly workload from 20 to 30 hours to be eligible for its medical benefits.
The good news is that there are some companies offering health benefits to part-time workers who work less than 30 hours per week. Here are some of the biggest:
Part-time employees who work 23 or more hours per week can get health insurance through Costco at low rates. Workers are eligible for benefits after 180 days on the job.
Costco’s Choice Plus health plan allows workers to choose their own providers. They can also join a low-cost dental plan and get basic vision coverage.
At the Costco pharmacy, they can use an in-house prescription plan that is separate from Choice Plus. The in-house plan has $5 copays for generic drugs and 5%-15% copays for branded medications.
The home improvement company offers a limited benefit health plan to part-time employees that offers preventative care.
The company’s benefits brochure doesn’t go into detail on the program, though health benefits for full-time workers are laid out over several pages.
A limited benefit health plan usually requires paying only a flat amount for each medical event. It may be paid through reimbursement instead of directly to the healthcare provider.
Lowe’s also offers vision and dental care, and short-term disability benefits to part-timers.
The Seattle-based coffee company is widely known for its benefits for part-time workers. Its benefits package is called “Your Special Blend,” and is available to employees who work at least 240 hours over a three consecutive month period, or at least 20 hours per week.
It offers many medical plans. All cover 100% of preventative costs. Basic plans require employee contributions of just 30% of the total plan premium. More comprehensive plans may include coverage for non-traditional care at higher out-of-pocket rates.
All of the plans include dental and vision coverage.
United Parcel Service
Better known as UPS, the package delivery company is one of the only companies offering full benefits to hourly employees, whether they work full- or part-time.
The downside for part-timers, however, is that they must be employed for at least 12 months before they’re eligible for the company’s health benefits.
Once they’ve worked for UPS for a year, part-time employees who work at least one hour per week can choose basic health plans that cover preventative medical and dental services. A basic vision plan is also included.
Workers pay no out-of-pocket expenses for their health benefits. UPS workers get other benefits that require little or no money out of their pocket, including life and disability insurance, and tobacco cessation support.
These benefits are available through collective bargaining agreements made on behalf of hourly workers at UPS.
This self-serve moving firm based in Phoenix offers limited medical and dental plans to all employees. Workers must log at least 20 hours per week to be eligible for benefits.
This includes coverage for annual office visits, low prescription copays, and partial coverage for more expensive medical services.
Employees must cover the full cost of premiums. U-Haul’s medical benefits don’t meet the minimum requirements of the ACA, so workers may need to buy supplemental insurance.
Be aware that healthcare plans can change annually, and companies may drop or modify their coverage for part-time workers on short notice.
If you’re looking for a part-time job with health benefits, be sure to check out the company’s website for information or call and ask before applying.
Benefits for part-time workers usually aren’t as great as they are for full-timers, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find employers who want to attract part-time workers with solid benefits that make working for them worthwhile.
If health insurance is offered by a company to part-time workers, chances are it’s more affordable than what the worker would find on the private market.