Health Insurance

Can Part-Time Employees and Contractors Be Included in Group Health Insurance Plans?

Khang T. Vuong, MHA
Khang T. Vuong, MHA10 Jul 2023
Reviewed and Fact Checked ✔️
  • Part-time employees and contractors eligibility for group health insurance plans depends on the size of the business, insurance company policies, and legal requirements.
  • Such insurance provision can attract and retain employees for employers and provide affordable healthcare access for part-time employees and contractors.
  • However, this can result in increased financial burdens and administrative complexities for employers and limited plan options for employees.
  • Other health coverage options include a marketplace insurance plan, Mira, Medicaid, short-term health insurance, or being added to a spouse's or parent's plan.

Group health insurance plans offer a certain flexibility that allow for the inclusion of both part-time employees and contractors. Nonetheless, such inclusions are subjected to various factors such as the size of the business, the insurance company's policies and the legal requirements to qualify for these plans (Group Health Plan Requirements, U.S Department of Labor).

Can You Include Part-Time Employees and Contractors in Group Plan?

The inclusion of part-time employees and contractors in group health insurance plans is largely governed by a legal framework. Legally, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) does not require employers to provide health insurance for part-time employees, defined as those working fewer than 30 hours per week. Moreover, independent contractors, who are not considered employees, fall outside the purview of health benefits typically provided to full-time staff by their employers. Whether a part-time employee or contractor qualifies for benefits ultimately depends on the employer's policy and the regulations of the specific insurance plan (Health Benefits for Part-time Workers, Investopedia).

Are You Required Legally Required to Provide Benefits To Part-time Workers and Contractors?

Employers have a significant level of discretion when it comes to extending health insurance coverage to part-time employees and contractors. Smaller businesses, in particular, tend to be more flexible with their health insurance offerings as a strategy to attract and retain talent. However, extending coverage to these groups can be cost-prohibitive for the employer and often depends on the specifics of the group health plan provided by their insurance company. It's important for employers to checkout the rules set forth by their health insurance provider and balance those considerations with the cost implications of expanding coverage (Health Benefits for Part-time Workers, Investopedia).

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Khang T. Vuong, MHA

Khang T. Vuong received his Master of Healthcare Administration from the Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University. He was named Forbes Healthcare 2021 30 under 30. Vuong spoke at Stanford Medicine X, HIMSS conference, and served as a Fellow at the Bon Secours Health System.

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