Are Part Time Employees Eligible For Health Insurance?
“Do I have to be a full-time employee with my employer to be eligible for insurance?” That’s a question you should check with your human resources department or your employer to determine if part-time employees are eligible for group health insurance. It really depends on your company, what being a part-time employee means under your company’s rules, and other considerations. Check with your human resources department to see whether or not they have other requirements as to minimum hours to be eligible for group health insurance. Often times, you’ll have to meet a certain percentage of hours before you’re considering for insurance.
In addition, some small business owners require that you be a full-time employee with your employer in order to even be considered for a plan. Some companies want to know exactly how many hours you’ve worked as a condition of getting part time health insurance, and some will deny you coverage altogether if you don’t fall within their company’s guidelines. You may be able to find cheaper, though less invasive, options for getting health insurance through other avenues.
Some states do require certain minimum hours for part-time employees, but there’s no clear nationwide standard. One thing is clear though: most large, well-known companies don’t provide health insurance for part-timers. If you don’t, the costs can be high. However, the costs of health insurance for those who are full-time are much lower than for those who are part time. That’s because the employers generally pass the savings along to the employees.
Most small business owners consider fringe benefits such as health insurance to be an added expense. The thinking is that the employees are buying into the company. In a broader sense, this is true. fringe benefits are typically considered an unnecessary addition to the business and are therefore passed along to the employee as a form of employee appreciation.
Even among small business owners, not all consider fringe benefits to be an employee benefit, even if it’s something that they should consider for all employees. Some small-business owners believe that the costs associated with offering these benefits are excessive and don’t justify the savings they would achieve by not providing coverage. They would be right on both points. Fringe benefits like health insurance are expensive to implement and administer, and small business owners should always expect to pay for them.
According to the law, “a group health insurance plan” must offer “non-contrador” benefits for employees, but this term can mean different things to different people. For some it means health insurance only available to part-time workers, for others it means that all employees are considered part-time. The Internal Revenue Code provides examples of non-contrador employee benefits in sections 5upercellaneous benefits and section 6-employer obligations. For most businesses, however, the meaning of “part-time” generally refers to less than thirty hours of work per week, or an hourly rate that is not greater than forty-five cents per hour.
Under federal guidelines, fringe benefits are considered to be employee benefits for which payment is made, but not for which services are rendered. The confusion stems from the fact that the word “fringe” itself denotes something that is not necessary for the operation of the plan, while at the same time it might suggest that payment of other benefits, such as health insurance or unemployment benefits, is somehow improper. If fringe benefits were to be considered employee benefits, then any employee could draw them, whether they are full or part-time, but these benefits are not intended to be taxes deductible. Federal guidelines specify that if you are a full-time or part-time employee, you are eligible for premium assistance through COBRA. You also must have exhausted all of your COBRA insurance benefits before you become eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance.
As you can see, understanding the difference between full-time versus part-time employment can make a big difference when it comes to understanding your small business owners’ small business health insurance options. Both full-time and part-time employees are eligible for group health benefits packages through their employer, but the group benefits packages is generally much more affordable than individual plans. In addition, there are often more benefits included in a group benefits package, such as vision care, accident benefits, drug/alcohol rehabilitation, life insurance, disability compensation, and accidental death and dismemberment benefits. These are benefits that most small business owners do not even think of but having them can mean the difference between keeping your small business afloat or going out of business. Knowing what benefits are available, can go a long way towards helping you keep your small business viable.