Are part time employees eligible for health insurance?

How many hours per week are part-time? When it comes to healthcare, you must follow the definition of the law, where part-time employees are those who work less than 30 hours a week. Are part time employees eligible for health insurance?

ACA rules for part-time employees

The ACA requires employers with at least 50 full-time employees (FTEs) to offer full-time health insurance to each employee or to pay a penalty. The law defines “full-time” as work at least 30 hours a week. 

Although employers are not required to provide health care for part-time employees, you can do so. But if you do, you must follow the ACA rules.

What are the rules for offering health insurance for part-time employees?

Here are four steps to make sure you can offer health insurance for part-time employees and meet the ACA requirements. 

Finance and taxes

  1. Check with your insurance carrier

Make sure your insurance carrier allows you to offer health insurance to part-time employees. Insurance companies have different rules regarding this. 

  1. Be consistent in how and to whom you offer protection

According to the ACA, if you offer health insurance for full-time employees, you must offer health insurance for all similar full-time employees. 

Similarly, if you offer health insurance for part-time employees, you must offer health insurance for all similarly employed part-time employees. You should clearly write what qualifies part-time employees in company policies, which leads us to the next step. 

Are part time employees eligible for health insurance?
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  1. Set your own requirements for part-time permissions

If you decide to open health services for part-time employees, you can write your own requirements about how those part-time employees may qualify.

For example, you can set up a policy that will allow employees to qualify for health insurance if: 

  • Work at least 10 hours a week,
  • Work at least 40 hours a month, or
  • Work for yourself, which means that every employee you hire can get health insurance.
  1. Make sure you meet the minimum participation requirements.

Most carriers and health insurance states require that the minimum percentage of workforce eligible for health insurance actually covers and uses you. Offering health insurance for part-time employees can affect this minimum percentage of participation.

Benefit cost management

The cost ratio of offering part-time employee benefits should be determined when choosing group plans, but most plan administrators have reasonable options. Many benefits, such as voluntary plans and additional insurance, can be offered as full pay for employees or for half-rate full-time employee plans.

 

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