Are Part-Time Employees Eligible for Health Insurance

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by Tiffany M.
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As a part-time employee, you are qualified to get insurance. However, your employer does not have to offer you insurance through their company. Many companies do not offer health insurance to their part-time employees – although some do. Regardless, depending on the hours you work, you will be able to apply for insurance in the Health Insurance Marketplace. Typically, employees who work less than 30 hours in one week are considered to be part-time. If you meet this requirement and are looking for more information regarding your coverage options, continue reading!

Qualifying for Benefits Under Your Employer

Qualifying for benefits is determined through a case-by-case basis. Your employer will decide whether or not you meet the minimum requirements for qualification. There is no federal law requiring employers to provide coverage to their part-time employees, so it is entirely based on your employer’s decision to extend those benefits to its workers. Whatever benefits your employer decides to extend are also entirely based on their decision and will vary by company. If the benefits you are receiving are not fit for your lifestyle or do not provide enough coverage, you are still open to browse the Marketplace and find a healthcare plan that does work for you. You are not required to receive your employer’s health care plan just because it is offered. This is the time where you must weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each option to find which is best fit for you, your budget, and your lifestyle.


Having employer-based insurance coverage is much simpler than having to pick out your insurance plan since it is given to you directly. These plans are typically minimalistic and therefore are usually budget-friendly coverage options as well. Another benefit of employer-based insurance is that it is directly taken out of your paycheck. Some find this as a benefit since they do not have to worry about the monthly premium being paid on time and it gives the illusion that they are not taking the money directly out of their pocket. 


Although there are certainly advantages to obtaining an insurance plan through an employer, there are also a few disadvantages that are important to take note of which may be a dealbreaker to your ultimate decision. One common disadvantage is the lack of portability that employer-based insurance coverage has. Once you switch employers, you must also switch your insurance plan. Especially as a part-time employee who may be in-between jobs, using a part-time job as a temporary means, or unable to access full-time employment at the time, the lack of portability may be bothersome in the future. Another disadvantage to keep in mind is the lack of choices you have in your insurance plan. Your employer offers a set of benefits that they choose to extend, but you do not have the freedom of picking and choosing what works for you and what does not.

What Happens if You Don’t Qualify?

If you do not qualify for the benefits your employer provides or your employer simply does not offer any coverage to part-time employees, you are still eligible to receive healthcare coverage elsewhere. The Health Insurance Marketplace is a great resource to browse and apply for insurance options that you qualify for. Once you figure out that your employer does not extend healthcare benefits to you, it is important to apply for Marketplace coverage as soon as possible. You can apply at Once you have a log-in, the Marketplace will notify you as to what insurance options are available to you and what additional options you can qualify for. Make sure to take the time to go through all of the options that are available to you in order to find the best plan that fits your budget and lifestyle.


Without your employer providing insurance, you have full freedom in choosing what plan works best for you and your budget. Depending on your needs, your employer may not have offered an extensive list of benefits. But by choosing your own insurance, you can pick the perfect option for yourself. Additionally, your insurance is not determined by your insurer. Your insurance is a contract agreement between you and your insurance provider – so switching between employment opportunities will not be an issue and you can keep your insurance provider even if you change your career.


Not qualifying for insurance under your employer means you have to go out and find an insurance plan on your own. This can be confusing at times, seeing as there are so many options available. However, using the Marketplace can simplify this decision since it narrows down the opportunities for you based on your lifestyle and needs. Applying to the Marketplace during enrollment is crucial to be able to access insurance at the best price point possible. Make sure to apply today if you want to browse opportunities that are available to you.


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