20 Part-time Jobs With Health Insurance

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
20 Part-time Jobs With Health Insurance
20 Part-time Jobs With Health Insurance

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.

NOTE: Rather than continuing to make updates to this post, I’ve added a whole new version – 20 Part-time Jobs With Health Insurance 2015, to reflect a fully updated list in the post-Obamacare era. As you might imagine, there have been quite a few changes.

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.

4. Barnes & Noble. The book seller offers health insurance coverage to part-timers but there’s a nasty rumor that you have to be there for a a full year to get it.

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.

15. 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:

  1. How long is the waiting period before benefits begin?
  2. Is the coverage for part-timers comparable to what is offered for full-timers?
  3. Will the employer pay any part of the monthly premium?
  4. 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.)
  5. What is the minimum number of hours you need to work to keep the plan active?
  6. Is COBRA offered on termination?
  7. Does coverage extend to family members?
  8. 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?

( Photo from Flickr by Piutus )

41 Responses to 20 Part-time Jobs With Health Insurance

  1. Hi Joe, I’m thinking Starbucks for me, if the need arises. As a blogger I hang out there and work with friends just to avoid the cabin fever issue. Free WiFi! With health insurance the whole package would flow nicely.

  2. Hi Kakidasa–Just check to see if ANY employer you apply to has health insurance for part-timers. I was surprised at how many do. I think it’s one of the best kept secrets in the job market right now. A lot of companies that run on part-timers have to sweeten the pot to attract them and health insurance is probably the best incentive of all.

  3. Thanks Kevin, I have posted this to my Facebook. I knew about Starbucks, they have been doing this for years.

    LOL, not surprised about Walmart as when I worked for them as a cashier many years ago, if you could not afford their insurance – it was the welfare route to go if you qualified. I saw many single parent cashiers having to do this and it was like, you are working for Walmart?????

    It is places like Walmart that the media needs to keep an eye on. I finally got about $700 out of them for not giving us our required lunch time breaks. This was in Orlando, Florida. They are not required to give breaks, but after working a maximum of 6 hours, their registers now shut down. When I was working, they kept you on the register and lied about you getting a lunch and fired you if you complained. Sad to say, it took a group class action suit to get this fixed. LOL, it was years before I got the check in the mail, but God was good and it was forwarded to my new address. That was God as the post office only forwards mail for a certain time. Thank you JESUS as I sure needed that cash.

  4. Hi Angela, sorry to hear about your Wal-Mart experience. Still there are enough part time jobs with health insurance that we have some options, especially when pre-existing conditions make getting private coverage hard, expensive or impossible. And that’s what this post is about–options!

  5. Thanks for sharing this long list Kevin of part time jobs with benefits. I’ve heard stories about Walmart as Angela shared above. It’s a shame. They are supposedly the department store giant. I guess they feel that they can behave this way and get away with it. Walmart moved into my area and caused one of my favorite stores to go out of business. I was never a fan of Walmart.

  6. Hi Vernette–I’ve heard stories as well, but at the same time I have to give Walmart–or any other company that provides health coverage to their part time staff–a lot of credit for doing so. All things being equal, I’d take a part time job with health insurance over one that doesn’t offer it. Even if it isn’t perfect coverage, it’s worth having; we’re getting to a time when every health plan out there has flaws. It’s part of the way health insurance companies are dealing with the relentless rise in healthcare costs.

    As to Walmart running stores out of business, that unfortunately is the Big Box model. Every large company is doing that to one degree or another. Walmart gets most of the criticism because they’re the most efficient at doing it. We’re all to blame too as consumers. We want to pay the lowest price for everything we buy–and again Walmart is very good at delivering this to us–but we don’t realize that we’re paying for low prices through lost jobs. This is a big part of the employment problems we’re having nationwide and why I don’t think it will get better any time soon. Ironically, the more jobs that are lost, the more people are pushed to buy at the big box retailers because that’s all they can afford. It’s a great big Catch-22.

  7. Starbucks is interesting, in that you have to work any (even part-time) hours they give you, at any location they choose to get this health insurance-it can mean a good deal of driving around to get to the location you are scheduled for.

  8. Hi Janet–I’m sure there’s a hoop or two at any employer who will provide health insurance. But if it’s the difference between having coverage or not, it will still be worth the effort. Unfortunately, the world of low stress jobs with regular hours and responsibilities is gone, even in part time work.

  9. The Renaissance Hotel I work at, which is under Marriott management, offers health insurance to employees who work an average of 30 hours/week over a three month period. 🙂

  10. Hi Laura–I had heard rumor that Marriott offered health insurance to part timers, but left them off the list because I couldn’t confirm it. Thanks for adding it!

  11. A note for Krogers, part-timers are eligible after 9 months to get insurance. I work in Houston, but I’d imagine it’s the same for all Krogers

  12. Hi Travis–I did some research on this when writing the article. Grocery chains are not typically uniform in their health insurance offerings. Some districts or individual stores will offer it while others won’t. And terms can vary as well.

    I don’t think I’d want to wait 9 months for coverage, but if there were no other choice it would seem like an oasis in the desert!

  13. Yeah, I really didn’t have a choice. It was either that or start over at another job. I was transitioning from my parents insurance off at age 26 to Kroger’s, so I only had to wait a few months in effect.

  14. Glad to hear it worked out for you Travis. I didn’t include Kroger on the list because it didn’t appear that they offer health insurance for part-timers at all of their stores. But that seems to be true of the grocery industry in general.

  15. It will be interesting to see what happens to these plans beginning in 2014. The Affordable Care Act lists ten essential health benefits, and applies other mandates for group health plans.

    Many of the limited benefit plans popular with these employers do not meet the criteria. Also, part time workers may be able to purchase subsidized policies through their state exchanges.

  16. Hi Kevin–I see PPACA as a game changer, once it rolls out in full all bets are off. My guess is that premiums will skyrocket (using Mass. as an example) and that people will flock to group plans. But the group plans will look different than they do now, and probably be more expensive too (as you said, in order to comply).

    We have a healthcare nightmare in the US that I’m not at all sure is even partially addressed by reform. Unless we can get control of the cost side, we’ll probably continue in some form of escalating crisis until a meltdown forces real reform.

  17. My latest job actually gives us free health insurance which I thought was pretty cool. In fact, they say its free, but actually they take $75 out of my salary each month, just goes to show, nothing is free in life eh?

  18. $75 doesn’t sound like free, but as an employee contribution it’s way down on the low end of the scale. I know people who pay 100% of the cost, and others who have to pay 100% of coverage for family members.

  19. Might want to check into the logistics of the “health insurance” plan actually administered by a legit Cigna Health Care for part time employees of JCPenney. I was told that I would get the same plan as the manager who interviewed me but upon checking into the plan it showed that employee must contribute approx $100 per month for a maximum yearly payout of $1000 in one year, so the premium is higher than the payout They actually make money on this plan on the poor individuals who they sucker into believing that no one would lie to them. Check into the JCP story on part time health care and you might want to retract them in your article or do another update in the article. Some companies actually do offer a legit program, but JCP does not and yet they can still call this a PPO health insurance plan. New employee beware!

  20. I’m an employee for Trader Joes and work part time and have received full medical, dental, retirement benefits for years for working just 17-20 hours a week. Are you ready for this – Trader Joe’s just came out and is dropping medical benefits for part time employees. Now any employee that works less than 30 hours a week will be dropped. They will now have to go on to the health exchanges and buy their own insurance. Just received letter from our headquaters. Huge disappointment – my wife and I are deciding now what we need to do.

  21. this must be old information. Companies are now hiring part time at 16 hours max. per week so that they do not have to pay for benefits. Barnes and Noble is one good example, and any restaurant just try and good luck you will find dead ends everywhere.

  22. MY job offers group insurance but to include my unemployed wife on the plan will cost just short of 500.00 monthly. We will be homeless for sure if we were to sign up for it. Do not qualify for Obama care. Not really sure what to do at this point for her.

  23. No Bill, it’s from this past spring. There’s a lot of speculation on it because of the roll out of Obamacare, and companies are adjusting their policies. But companies like Starbucks DO have legitimate health insurance for part-time workers. I understand your position, but I wouldn’t be too negative, otherwise you might shut the door on some decent opportunities.

  24. Bill, she might want to try one of these part-time arrangements then. It’s worth it to get a job just for health insurance. Otherwise try a catastrophic plan with a very high deductible. At least you’ll have the larger bills covered, plus you’ll have more options in a major medical situation. No health insurance at all is the worst outcome.

  25. Does anyone know of companies that have a zero or shorter grace period than 90 days for health coverage?

  26. Toys R Us/Babies R Us offers insurance to part time employees. You don’t even have to wait 90. You can apply the day you get hired.

  27. Hi Missy – Thanks for the update. For some people who have no other choice, the one year wait might be worth it. A friend of mine who works for UPS also said that they provide coverage for the employee only, and coverage for other family members must be paid out of pocket. Depending on what the cost is for your family members, it may or may not be worth it.

  28. I work in human resources at one of the above listed department stores. I believe most if not all of them are referring to health savings accounts which we all know are not health insurance.

  29. Hi Sandy – I don’t doubt it. That said, my wife just started a part-time job (20 hours per week) at a local bank that provides health insurance, so there are situations out there where it’s available.

  30. This is a great article, but maybe the costs have changed since you wrote it. The “bronze” plan that we could buy, the one that covers about nothing, is $900 a month with a $13,000 deductible. We opted for one that covers more that is 1241 a month. Yikes, three times our mortgage payment. Thank goodness we live in a cheap house, otherwise we would be without health insurance. Another thing to note is that the plans available for individuals suck. We had united healthcare last year, tinkled away over $1000 a month and they wiggled out of paying most everything for one reason or another. Kevin, I was thinking of doing temporary insurance one year, then regular insurance the next, then temporary, etc. Do you know if this would work, is there a limit to the number of times you can get on a temporary plan? I also wondered if you lose your insurance because you can’t afford to make a payment, do you have a right to re-enroll at any time or do you have to wait until the open enrollment period?

  31. Hi Robin – I didn’t even give Obamacare quotes in this article, so I’m not sure what you’re referring to. Also, my understanding (which could be wrong) is that Obamacare deductible/out-of-pocket limit is $6,500. I wasn’t aware of a $13k deductible. A deductible that high is like having no health insurance at all, since close to 90-something percent of all claims would be paid out of pocket. And that’s in addition to more than $10k per year in health insurance premiums.

    I don’t know enough about temporary policies to say if they’re worth having. One of the major issues though is whether or not they’re Obamacare compliant (meaning you won’t have to pay a penalty for not having coverage).

  32. UPS does offer medical, vision and dental insurance, that they pay for BUT the last couple of years adjusted the waiting period to a year. You must be a part-time employee for a year before the insurance kicks in, but it’s very good insurance…That’s why I’m there.

  33. I applied for a part time job who claimed to offer health insurance for employees no matter how many hours they worked. A COMPLETE LIE. You had to be full time to get them.

  34. Hi Marie – I’m sorry to hear that. I wouldn’t believe them in the first place unless it was clearly stated on their website. That’s why I verified and backlinked just about all of the employers on this list (which have been updated in more recent editions of this post).

    A disturbing trend has been developing in recent years in which employers routinely lie to get people to accept jobs. This is the first time I’m hearing of it with health insurance. It’s much more common in regard to bonuses, overtime, rank, promotion and even base salary. I’ve even seen them lie about the job description, which is extremely common when it comes to sales and telemarketing jobs.

    You really have to cross examine employers and get third party references before accepting a job. Honesty seems to be yet another casualty of the times. What’s ironic is that if you lie to them they can fire you. What’s their penalty for lying???

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