12 Employers That Pay for Your Health Insurance if You’re a Part-Time Worker
Employers of a certain size, by law, have to offer health insurance to full-time workers. But some employers extend coverage to part-timers, too.
The Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, defines “full time” as 30 hours or more per week. That’s right — 30, not 40.
“That definitely doesn’t sync up with common usage,” David Frazzini, a partner and health benefits expert at the HR consulting firm Mercer.
If you regularly clock 30 hours a week, and if your employer is large enough, they should be providing health insurance, according to the ACA.
Some employers market this as a perk but, really, they’re obligated to give it to you. Or they may offer some health benefits to part-timers, but the perks aren’t robust enough to qualify as health insurance.
Other companies really do go above and beyond what is required by law. Here are 12 big employers that offer part-time jobs with health insurance.
12 Places to Find Part-Time Jobs With Health Insurance
These employers offer health insurance to part-timers working less than 30 hours per week.
- The federal government
- JP Morgan Chase
- National Guard
More details about each of the 11 employers and their health care offerings for part-time workers:
All hourly workers at Chipotle restaurants are eligible for a suite of health insurance plans. The fast-casual burrito chain provides medical, dental and vision insurance with dependent coverage.
Medical plans are available through Anthem, according to the company’s latest benefits handbook. The vision plan is through EyeMed, and dental is through Delta Dental. Through a separate employee assistance plan, you can also receive mental health counseling for you and your dependents for free — face-to-face, over the phone or through teleconferencing.
Health plans are just some of the perks available to part-timers. The company has been beefing up its benefits package for years. Chipotle also offers accrued paid time off, sick leave, stock options, a 401(k) plan and tuition reimbursement to part-time staff.
Chipotle operates in 48 states and Washington, D.C. Find a job near you on Chipotle’s career page.
Costco, the membership-based wholesale retail chain, is known for providing comprehensive benefits and fair wages. If you work as a permanent, hourly part-timer in the contiguous U.S. for an average of at least 23 hours per week, you qualify for health insurance and other benefits. In Hawaii, you’ll qualify for benefits as long as you’re logging at least 20 hours per week.
The Aetna health plan for part-timers has a $550 individual deductible, and you’ll be charged a copay for most doctor’s visits and prescription drugs. The company shares its health-care benefits summary publically.
According to Costco’s benefits website, the benefits begin the “first day of the month following 60 continuous days of service” in the contiguous U.S. For example, if you started working at least 23 hours per week on December 1, the earliest you would be eligible for health insurance would be February 1.
If you’re in Hawaii, you only need to work at Costco for four weeks. Then, the benefits will start on the first day of the next month.
Costco stores are located in 46 states and Washington, D.C. Look for jobs near you on the company’s career page.
3. The Federal Government
No matter how few hours you work for the federal government, you’ll be eligible for the same health insurance benefits as full-time employees — as long as your position is permanent.
What varies is how much comes out of your paycheck, according to the Office of Personnel Management, the agency that manages the federal government’s civilian workforce.
“Part-time employees… receive the same coverage as full-time employees but pay a greater percentage of the premium,” the website states. “For example, an employee on a 20-hour-per-week schedule receives one-half the Government contribution towards the premium.”
You can find federal government jobs at agencies such as the Postal Service, the Internal Revenue Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the Department of Veterans Affairs on the USA Jobs website.
The home-improvement retailer offers regular, part-time workers a variety of benefits at most locations. You can enroll in medical, dental, vision and pharmacy plans upon hiring, and benefits will kick in after a full month of employment.
Depending on your area, you may have several tiers of coverage options. Part-time health insurance options can be particularly favorable in Hawaii, with low to non-existent deductibles and copays.
But for every one of the 30+ markets we checked in the contiguous U.S., there was no coverage for hospitalizations or surgical procedures. You also had to meet a $9.100 annual deductible as an individual before coverage for basic things like PCP visits kicked in. That’s a hefty deductible on a part-time income, but it is still technically a health insurance benefit for part-time workers.
Use Lowe’s benefits calculator to see what medical coverage is available in your area.
Lowe’s operates in all 50 states. Check its career webpage to find jobs nearby.
REI, which stands for Recreational Equipment, Inc., is a membership cooperative that provides outdoors equipment and apparel for sale and for rent. Co-ops aren’t like traditional businesses. They’re run more democratically and are focused on the needs of their members and workers rather than consumers or investors.
So it makes sense that they offer a generous benefits package. Several health care plans are available to part-time employees. There is an HSA that’s open to everyone, regardless of number of hours worked after three months of employment at the co-op.
If you work at least 20 hours per week, you gain access to plans with lower deductibles (and no HSA option,) including a PPO and in select states, Kaiser Healthcare Plans. If you want one of these plans, you’ll have to wait until a year after your hire date as a part-time worker.
The company operates in 42 states and in Washington, D.C.. Use REI’s job board to see if they’re hiring near you.
In addition to health insurance for part-timers, Starbucks also pays toward their college education costs. Photo courtesy of Starbucks
Starbucks provides five tiers of medical plans for eligible hourly workers, and eligibility is based on a work week of about 20 hours. The exact number is a little more complex and is based on 240 hours worked over a three month period.
“For example, if you are hired on May 2, we would measure for 240 paid hours in June, July and August. If you meet the requirement over that time, you would receive your enrollment kit in September and become benefits eligible effective October 1,” according to an employee benefits packet.
Starbucks is also one of the few major employers that will pay for your college education as a part-time worker.
Starbucks’ latest medical insurance package includes Bronze, Bronze Plus, Silver, Gold and Platinum coverage options. Depending on the plan, individual deductibles range from zero to $3,300. And copays run from $25 to $50 for doctor’s visits.
Starbucks operates about 15,000 stores across all states in the U.S. Find a gig nearby through its online career board.
UPS has one of the most comprehensive benefits packages for part-time employees. It includes medical, dental, vision and pharmacy programs.
Plans may vary by location. According to the TeamstersCare benefits page, you’ll need to work at least 225 hours over any three month period to qualify. That’s roughly 18 hours per week. If you work 400 hours over three months, you’ll gain access to full-time benefits over that time period.
UPS operates more than 5,500 stores nationwide. You can look for jobs online using UPS’s career portal.
8. JP Morgan Chase
If you work at JPMorgan Chase for at least 20 hours per week, you qualify for health insurance benefits. After working for at least 60 days, you will be eligible on the first day of the next month.
So let’s say you got hired on June 15. In August, you would have logged 60 days. You’d be eligible for coverage Sept. 1.
There are a variety of different plans offered through Aetna or Cigna. If you live in California, you’ll also have the choice of a plan offered by Kaiser.
To see if there are part-time jobs available near you through JPMorgan Chase, checkout their career site.
Work 20-29 hours per week at Amazon? Then you’re eligible for health insurance.
There are multiple plans available, all of which provide 100% coverage of preventative care. Deductibles range from $1,000 to $1,500 for individuals, and $3,000 to $4,500 if you want coverage for your entire family.
Amazon employs over 1.5 million people in America. If you’re interested in becoming one of them, you can check out current openings here.
Walmart labels people who work 30 hours/week as part-timers – even though they’re considered full-time workers under the ACA.
However, certain jobs at Walmart will provide health insurance if you are truly part-time, as long as you work at least 24 hours per week over a two-month period. Those jobs include:
- Nurse practitioners
- Supply chain associates
You become eligible for benefits after you work 60 days at part-time status in one of these positions, but they won’t kick in until the month where you’ve worked for 89 days.
Here’s how Walmart explains it: “For example, let’s say your hire date is May 11, 2022. Your 60th day is July 9, and on that day you’ve worked enough hours to meet the requirement. Your 89th day is Aug. 7, so benefits become effective on Aug. 1.”
You can find open positions here if you’re interested in being one of their 2.2 million US-based store associates.
11. National Guard
Age 35 or under and think you’ve got what it takes to be a reservist? If so, the National Guard and the Reserves offer coverage through TRICARE Reserve Select.
Costs depend on your rank. If you’re E1-E4, deductibles are $60/individual or $121/family, while ranks of E5+ — who are paid more — have deductibles of $182/individual or $365/family. If you only need coverage for yourself, it’ll run you about $48/month in premiums. If you want family coverage, premiums are $239.69/month.
TRICARE doesn’t necessarily mean everything’s covered. In fact, there’s a significant list of exclusions; plans offered by Starbucks provide more coverage in some instances.
There are more TRICARE plans available to you if your status changes to active duty, but you’ll lose your healthcare benefits when you are deactivated entirely.
Joining the military even as a “part-time” reservist is a serious commitment. Be sure to fully understand the obligations before signing your name on the dotted line. If you do decide that service is right for you, here’s where you can learn more.
IKEA claims to offer the same benefits package to both part-time and full-time workers. To qualify, you’ll only need to be scheduled for 20 hours per week. Because it’s the same package that’s offered to full-time employees, it’s safe to assume that the entire suite of medical benefits meets ACA requirements as far as coverage and costs are concerned.
Another unique feature of IKEA’s health insurance for part-time workers is that you won’t have to work for months before it kicks in. You’ll be eligible after just 15 days of employment. There are traditional PPOs available along with an HSA option, and depending on where you live, you’ll be able to choose between Kaiser, Cigna, and Independence Administrators as your insurance provider.
IKEA has locations in 29 states, and employs over 14,000 people in America. If you’d like to explore becoming one of them, research their current job openings.
When an ACA Plan Is Cheaper and Smarter for Part-timers
Many circumstances may drive you to look for health insurance through a part-time job. Maybe your partner has a full-time job and you don’t need to work as much. You might have child or elder care responsibilities. Or perhaps you’re looking to “retire” early as part of the FIRE movement.
Whatever the case, Frazzini of Mercer says to consider your options on the ACA health-care exchange website.
“For low-income people, the subsidies on the ACA exchanges are pretty generous,” he said, noting that subsidized health plans through the exchange may be cheaper than ones provided by an employer if you’re a part-timer.
In some cases, being eligible for an employer-sponsored plan as a part-time worker might not be a good thing.
“If you are offered coverage by your employer, you actually become ineligible for those subsidies — regardless of whether you take it,” he said.
Also be aware that some employers offer health benefits but not health insurance. For example, in 2021, Target started offering its part-timers a certain number of free telehealth visits with doctors and therapists. And some companies offer cost-share perks for hospitalizations.
Pittsburgh-based writer Brynne Conroy is the founder of the Femme Frugality blog and the author of “The Feminist Financial Handbook.” She is a regular contributor to The Penny Hoarder. Adam Hardy is a former staff writer.