Employers are not required to provide health benefits for part-time employees, yet many still choose to offer healthcare plans as part of a benefits package.
Whether as a way to provide an incentive to part-time employees or to help meet minimum signup requirements with their insurance carrier, many employers elect to provide these benefits to those who are eligible.
Offering Part-Time Employee Health Benefits: What You Need To Know
Health benefits are not required for part-time employees, but all eligible part-time employees have access to health benefits if their employer offers health benefits to eligible part-time employees.
In other words, employers must be consistent with benefit plan offerings to all eligible employees. If they offer health insurance to full-time employees, all full-time equivalent employees must be offered health insurance.
The same is true when offering health benefits to part-time employees. If certain part-time employees have access to health benefits, then all who meet eligibility requirements must have access to the same benefits.
Certain eligibility requirements, such as what amount of hours constitutes a part-time employee, are out of an employer’s hands.
However, employers have some control over eligibility when it comes to part-time employees. For example, employers may be able to decide what amount of hours worked per week or per month makes an employee eligible for benefits.
How Many Hours Do Your Part-Time Employees Work?
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) helped establish guidelines for healthcare, and this includes healthcare plans offered to full- and part-time employees. Employers must follow guidelines set forth by the ACA when it comes to offering healthcare coverage.
This means part-time employees are those who work less than 30 hours per week. Employers may want to offer benefits to those part-time employees who work close to 30 hours per week, but not for those who work only a few hours per week.
Part-Time Employee Health Benefits Eligibility Requirement
For these reasons, it’s important that employers establish their own regulations regarding who can qualify for benefits. Some examples of such regulations include setting:
- minimum hour requirement per week
- minimum hour requirement per month
- or, allowing anyone who is employed to access benefits
Insurance Carrier Regulations For Part-Time Employees
It’s important that any employer considering offering health benefits to part-time employees first reach out to their current insurance carrier to ensure the provider will allow it. Not all insurance carriers will provide part-time benefits, and some may impose strict stipulations.
However, many health insurance companies require that businesses offering healthcare plans meet a certain percentage for enrollment. It may actually help employers to offer health insurance benefits to part-time employees in order to ensure this minimum requirement is met.
Navigating the world of health insurance benefits can be daunting, especially for employers considering offering benefits to part-time employees. A broker can help evaluate your current benefits program and select a health insurance company that matches your specific needs.
HealthCare.gov — How the Affordable Care Act affects small business