You don’t have to work full-time to get health insurance

Living without health coverage is a risky business. One large medical bill can easily put a person deep in the hole. Luckily, there are ways to get health insurance even as a part-time employee at several national companies. Because health insurance is so expensive, many people, particularly gig workers or those who are self-employed, opt to take part-time jobs for the health benefits alone.

Lots of part-time employees are demanding health benefits from their employers, which means in order to stay competitive, more and more companies are beginning to offer it. The catch is that generally, the employee has to work a minimum amount of hours in order to qualify.

Here are a dozen companies that offer part-time employees health insurance of some kind.

Starbucks

America’s favorite coffee chain has more than just great coffee. Once an employee has reached 240 hours of work in three consecutive years, which averages 20 hours per week for 12 weeks, they gain access to the company’s health insurance. This means part-time employees are eligible.

Female Starbucks worker prepares a beverage
Wikimedia Commons

Starbucks’ health insurance includes medical, vision, and dental offerings. As long as an employee maintains a 20-hour-a-week average, they stay eligible for the health benefits. The company also goes above and beyond health benefits, offering to pay the full college tuition of eligible employees at Arizona State University. Starbucks also offers a great 401k program and employees receive both sick and vacation leave.

Lowe’s

Lowe’s Home Improvement stores have health insurance for part-time employees that is hard to beat. It completely covers all preventative care and wellness visits and four primary care visits per year. The insurance even pays for a percentage of prescription drugs. On top of that, dental and vision plans are also available to part-time staff.

Once employees have worked only 31 days at Lowe’s, they become eligible for the benefits. The coverage also extends to employees’ families, including a spouse or domestic partner, children under 19 years old, and children up to 25 years old who are enrolled in college full-time.

Ikea

Ikea operates somewhat differently than other companies regarding what it considers a full-time employee. Any employee working at least 20 hours per week is full-time in Ikea’s eyes. That means they get benefits that are the same as an employee working 40 hours per week, which includes competitive medical coverage as well as a plan for prescription drugs, vision, and dental.

Any employee working at least 20 hours per week is full-time in Ikea’s eyes.

Ikea is a company based in Sweden, a social democracy where all citizens receive universal health care, so it makes sense that they would offer generous health coverage in the US where healthcare is privatized. Even more than just health insurance, Ikea provides pet insurance, tuition assistance, and lots of paid-time-off for vacations and parental needs.

Delta Airlines

Part-time employees of Delta airlines qualify for medical, vision, and dental insurance through the company as long as they work a minimum of 30 hours per week. Spouses, domestic partners, and dependents of the employee are also covered.

While these benefits are wonderful, perhaps the most generous benefit Delta provides to their employees, both part and full-time, is their travel privileges. Any Delta employee gets to travel for either free or greatly-reduced cost to anywhere Delta flies after only 30 days of working for the company. These privileges extend to the employee’s family members as well.

REI

REI, a company that sells recreational equipment, offers several health insurance plans that cover medical, dental, and vision to part-time employees who average more than 20 hours a week. The plan selected determines how much is covered, though it appears that more is given for medical and dental than vision.

On top of that, those same part-time employees averaging at least 20 hours a week can expect to receive basic life insurance, 401k plans, and paid time off. This includes something the outdoors company calls “Yay Day,” where employees get one paid day off every six months to simply enjoy time outside.

UPS

Thanks to the Teamsters Union’s collective bargaining agreement, part-time employees do not have to pay any out-of-pocket costs for their health benefits.

Employees of the United Parcel Service (UPS) must only work an average of 19 hours a week for three months to become eligible for health insurance. The benefits include medical, vision, hearing, and dental, and comes through the Teamsters Union.  Furthermore, after working at UPS for 12 months, part-time employees need only work one hour per week to qualify for basic preventative medical and dental plans that include low-copay plans for their prescription drugs and a basic vision plan.

Thanks to the Teamsters Union’s collective bargaining agreement, part-time employees do not have to pay any out-of-pocket costs for their health benefits. This makes UPS pretty unique in the health insurance provided to part-time employees, as most companies only offer packages where their part-time employees have to contribute to healthcare plans.

Whole Foods

While Whole Foods was a pioneer is offered amazing health benefits to part-time employees, they unfortunately changed their rules in 2019. Now, in order to qualify for health insurance from the company, part-time employees must work 30 hours per week rather than 20.

Still, those employees working 30 or more hours a week are offered the company’s full medical, vision, and dental package. The part-time staff does have to pay a decent portion of the premiums though, whereas the full-time staff pays almost nothing out-of-pocket.

Costco

Inside of all Costcos is a pharmacy, so part-time employees also have access to a prescription plan in-house.

Part-time Costco employees need only work 24 hours a week for 180 days with the company before they are eligible for health insurance. Costco offers something they call the Choice Plus health plan, letting employees choose insurance providers for themselves. Even more, they can opt to receive a basic vision plan and an inexpensive dental plan that pays for both preventative visits and basic procedures.

Inside of all Costcos is a pharmacy, so part-time employees also have access to a prescription plan in-house. Copays are only five dollars for generic drugs. All of these benefits are also available for the employee’s dependents for a small for of $30 each per paycheck.

JP Morgan Chase

Perhaps contrary to what might be assumed about one of the largest banks in the world, JP Morgan Chase happens to offer amazing health benefits to their part-time employees. Part-time employees must work just 20 hours a week for a minimum of 90 days with the company to be eligible for the benefits.

Medical, vision, and dental are all included in their employer-offered health insurance. JP Morgan Chase offers four potential coverage plans, and most of them pay for 100 percent of the cost of any preventative care in their network. There are no pre-existing conditions exclusions, and spouses and family can also opt-in.

Nike

Working part-time for Nike means you get health insurance through the company, though it varies based on how much you work. Working 30 hours a week for at least a year qualifies you for Nike’s benefits package for full-time employees, which includes a lot more than just health benefits.

Working part-time for Nike means you get health insurance through the company.

However, part-time employees who work 20 hours per week for a minimum of one year also qualify for some health insurance as well. It includes preventative and basic health services and office visits. They do have to pay the plan’s full cost, but that is a lot less than paying for a private insurer.

Walmart

Walmart gets a bad rap a lot of the time, but in their defense, they do offer health insurance to their part-time employees. Those who work an average of 30 hours a week for one year to qualify. However, in some cases, part-time employees working only 24 hours a week can also be eligible.

The plans for part-time employees are affordable too, starting at about $26 per paycheck. Vision and dental can be added as well. After working at Walmart for a year, they will also start to match up to six percent on an employee’s 401k retirement plan.

Chipotle

Anyone who works at Chipotle qualifies for preventative health care benefits as well as vision and dental plans regardless of how much they work. That means an employee could work five hours per week and still be eligible. That being said, to qualify for the company’s full insurance benefits, part-time employees must work at least 30 hours per week for at least one year.

Anyone who works at Chipotle qualifies for preventative health care benefits as well as vision and dental plans regardless of how much they work.

On top of what they offer in health benefits, Chipotle gives its eligible workers lots of paid-time-off, matches four percent of their 401k plans, and also provides tuition reimbursement.

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