Job seekers often insist on finding a full-time job, not only for a full-time paycheck but also for the benefits package that usually comes with it. Topping the list of benefits is health insurance—the one none of us want to be without. But what if you don’t want a full-time job? What if you could find a part-time job with health insurance? You’re in luck—there are employers out there—prominent ones—that do offer part-time jobs with health insurance. Maybe one of them could be a good fit for you.
Why you might need or prefer a health plan from a part-time job
Off the top of my head I can think of at least four situations where you might want to consider taking a part-time job in order to get health insurance coverage:
- You’re self-employed
- You’re unemployed
- You work a full-time job with no health plan
- You’re any one of the above but considered uninsurable for health reasons
Let’s talk about that last item a bit. Private health plans can and do weed out and deny coverage to people who they consider likely to file claims. It could be because of a previous bout with cancer or heart disease, or an ongoing condition as ordinary as high blood pressure. The advantage of employer group plans is that you will be accepted into the plan by virtue of your employment. You will not only be accepted in spite of any pre-existing health conditions, but you won’t be required to pay a higher premium either.
Good deal? You bet!
Employers that offer part-time jobs with health insurance
This is a topic that I’ve written on for other sites in the past, but it’s also a subject area where the employers change frequently—it’s time for an update. For example, gone from previous lists is Wal-Mart, the nations largest private sector employer. But not to worry, there are plenty of other employers that do have part-time jobs with health insurance.
1. Target. Wal-Mart may no longer be offering health insurance to it’s part-time employees but apparently its chief competitor Target still does.
2. Starbucks. The coffee giant offers health coverage in as little as 90 days, and you have to work at least 240 hours per quarter (about 20 hours per week) to maintain the plan. According to the company benefit page the coverage is comprehensive. They also offer some form of dental and vision coverage.
3. Caribou Coffee. It looks like coffee shops are the place to be if you’re looking for part-time jobs with health insurance. Caribou Coffee offers medical, dental and vision coverage to employees and their eligible dependents.
5. UPS. This company boasts offering ”full-time benefits for part-time employees”.
6. Costco. This company offers health coverage for part-timers but deductibles are a good bit higher than they are for full-time employees.
7. JC Penny. Health insurance coverage for part-time workers might be the norm among department stores—after all, they run their stores mostly with part-timers. Not only does JC Penny offer health insurance coverage but they also pay part of the cost.
8. Macy’s. The website gives no details but does confirm that coverage is available for part-time employees.
9. Staples. Not only does Staples provide health insurance to their employees, but it looks like they also extend them to the employee’s family members.
10. Lowe’s. Lowe’s website reports that they have a “limited benefit health plan” for part time employees. No details are supplied as to what that means, but it generally is an indication that benefits max-out at a level that’s below what it would cost for the most expensive medical procedures.
11. Banks. Despite the rise of ATMs, banks still employ a lot of tellers and other front-end employees, many of them on a part-time basis. There are hundreds of banks across the country—try one in your area to see if they offer health insurance to part-time employees. JP Morgan Chase offers health insurance to part-time employees who work at least 20 hours per week. And it’s a solid bet that if one of the leaders in the banking universe does so then at least some of it’s competitors will also.
12 & 13. Grocery stores. Like banks, retailers and coffee shops, grocery chains run on part-timers. Two of the leaders in the grocery industry are Safeway and Publix, and both offer health insurance for their part-time staff. If these two provide coverage, chances are high that others in the industry do as well. One caveat with grocery stores: availablity of benefits will vary based on individual stores and locations.
14. The Fresh Market. With more then 115 stores in 21 states the specialty grocery chain The Fresh Market offers “low cost medical, prescription, life, dental and vision coverage” for its part-time employees.
Trader Joe’s. Still another company in the specialty grocery business, Trader Joe’s also offers medical, vision and dental to its part-time staff. (NOTE: As of late 2013, Trader Joe’s is terminating benefits for employees working less than 30 hours per week – see comment from Jon below)
16. Hospitals. Many hospitals offer health insurance coverage for their part-time employees. In my area for example, Northside Hospital, a prominent area medical center, offers it to theirs. Check the hospitals in your area if this interests you. Hospitals don’t just hire doctors, nurses and healthcare technicians—they also need administrative staff, maintenance workers, security guards and kitchen/cafeteria staff.
17. Local governments. Many part-time jobs in county and municipal governments and school districts frequently have part-time jobs with health insurance. Fairfax County, Virginia is an example; they’ll pay 50% of the premium for health plans of employees who work less than 30 hours per week. Check out part-time jobs with local governments or their agencies in your area to see what kind of part-time arrangements (with health insurance) are available.
Numbers 18, 19 and 20—MAYBE. Other employers that are rumored—but not confirmed—as having health coverage for part-time employees include: Marriott, Nordstrom and Whole Foods.
Important questions to ask before taking a job
Health insurance coverage for part-time employees has more variables than it does with full-timers and is usually an entirely different plan as well. Before taking a part-time job with health insurance, be sure to ask some important questions:
- How long is the waiting period before benefits begin?
- Is the coverage for part-timers comparable to what is offered for full-timers?
- Will the employer pay any part of the monthly premium?
- What is the maximum coverage amount? (If it tops out at $50,000 or $100,000 it’s a limited benefit plan that won’t cover the biggest medical catastrophes.)
- What is the minimum number of hours you need to work to keep the plan active?
- Is COBRA offered on termination?
- Does coverage extend to family members?
- All the normal questions about deductibles, co-payments and co-insurance provisions.
The fact that one or more answers to the above questions won’t satisfy you doesn’t mean it isn’t worth taking the job and the health plan. Even if the benefits aren’t the soup-to-nuts variety everyone wants, always remember that any health insurance is better than having no coverage at all! At a minimum, membership in a health insurance plan will give you group provider discounts and get you treatment faster—a health insurance ID card is really a “pass” into the healthcare system.
Do you think a part-time job with health insurance can work for you?