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Will part-time workers be covered under obamacare?

Here's what you need to know...
  • Employers can offer health insurance coverage to part-time workers
  • If offered employer insurance, part-time workers cannot get subsidies unless the insurance is unaffordable or not qualified
  • Part-time workers without employer insurance can buy on the Obamacare marketplace
  • Part-time workers can use the five percent exception; the employer must offer to 95 percent of employees.

Part-time employees who cannot get health insurance from their employer can buy on the Obamacare marketplace and get subsidies. Comparison shopping is the preferred way to get the best from Obamacare plans and from plans offered outside the marketplace by private insurers. Start comparing health insurance plans now by using our FREE tool above!

Modern Role of Part-time Employment

In the modern business model, many companies use part-time employees rather than taking on fixed costs with fewer permanent full-time employees. They can get highly skilled and motivated employees without making any future financial or tenure commitments to them. Often, these employees were former full-time employees who were downsized to part-time because of employer leverage in an economy where high-paying jobs are in short supply. Employers can get excellent talent at very low wages. Caught in this position, many part-time employees turn to contracting, and other forms of self-employment. As small business employers or self-employed persons, they can purchase health insurance on terms that fit their situations.

Self-Employed Tax Benefits

Many part-time employees establish self-employment in addition to working part-time. Self-employed or small business proprietors can deduct the cost of health insurance premiums and payments. They can itemize health expenses as deductions of they exceed the applicable threshold. The basic benefits of the Affordable Care Act for part-time employees doing business as self-employed persons include the following items.

  • Premium assistance from tax credits
  • Costs subsidies
  • Medicaid, based on household income
  • CHIP, based on household income

Self-employed, Entrepreneurs, Micro-businesses

Obamacare offers a rewarding experience for the self-employed and start-up entrepreneurs. Small businesses with one employee or two or more related employees cannot get group coverage and often cannot afford it.

Part-time and self-employed persons can benefit from high deductible Silver and Bronze plans that can use Health Savings Accounts.

These independently employed persons can have essential coverage, pay low premiums, get tax subsidies, and use their money to guard against health events that require out of pocket or consumer payment. If one does not use the Health Savings Account funds for health payments, they roll over into future years and become a financial asset for future health insurance and medical expenses.

Open Enrollment

The sign-up period for the calendar year 2016 runs from November 1, 2015, through January 31, 2016. This is the window for part-time employees to get health insurance coverage as required by law. If not signed during Open Enrollment, part-time employees must qualify for an exception, get covered by Medicaid, of join an employer or small business plan. Life events include the below-listed items and changes.

  • Divorce
  • Marriage
  • Giving Birth or Adoption of a Child
  • Moving to a different state
  • Losing insurance as a dependent
  • Losing insurance from loss of a job

Not Limited to Open Enrollment

Most options for part-time employees are limited to Open Enrollment or an exception such as a special enrollment period. Some small business and entitlement options are not limited to the Open Enrollment.

  • Medicaid and CHIPS have no open enrollment limits
  • Small Business Plans are open to employees and employers
  • Self-employed persons must enroll as individuals during Open Enrollment

Retirees and Part-time Employment

Many retirees must supplement social security or pension benefits with income from part-time work. Before the Affordable Care Act, millions of Americans struggled to get and keep health insurance benefits, and retirees often were forced to work part-time to pay for their health insurance premiums. Without fear of denial, older workers can get coverage as part-time employees. Age is a permissible factor in setting rates, older workers can get coverage at competitive rates and also get tax subsidies and payment assistance if they qualify.

Individual Mandate Applies to Part-time

Part-time employees must meet the requirements of the Affordable Care Act and get covered by a qualified health plan. Comparison shopping helps part-time employees find the best combination of coverage and premiums to meet their needs. If qualified for subsidies, part-time employees can also qualify for payment assistance and Health Savings Accounts. There are many health insurance options for part-time employees working for companies that choose not to offer insurance to them. Start comparing health insurance plans now by entering our your zip code in our FREE tool below!

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