7 employers that offer part-time employees health insurance

With so many twenty-somethings scrambling to find career permanence, it may help to know that there are employers you can work for who offer health insurance to their part-time employees.

No, that doesn’t mean that you’ll necessarily be able to make a career out of such a job. But it does mean that you may be able to get all-important health insurance coverage while you are either between jobs, or waiting for that first career position.

Health insurance can be less expensive than you think. If your current employer doesn’t offer you a plan, check out what’s available to you locally. Here are some of the biggest providers operting in your area.

Here are seven employers that offer health insurance to part-timers.

1. Starbucks

Probably the best-known employer providing health benefits to part-time employees, Starbucks employee benefits package is called “Your Special Blend”, and it extends to part-time employees.

In order to be eligible, you must work at least 30 hours per week. The company begins monitoring your paid hours on the first day of the month following your hire date. So if you’re hired on March 15, it looks like the benefits clock won’t begin ticking until April 1. Once you become eligible, your benefits will begin on the first day of the second month following the three month waiting period.

If my calculations are correct, that means that the waiting period can be anywhere from four months and one day, to four months and 29 days. To be safe, figure that you’ll need to be employed for about five months before your health benefits will begin.

The health insurance coverage looks to be comprehensive, and includes prescription drugs, mental health, and chemical dependency treatment. It looks like they will also cover alternative care treatments, including acupuncture, chiropractic care, and homeopathic care.

The specific insurance carrier, and the exact level of coverage, will vary depending upon where you live. But they also include dental coverage and vision coverage.

On balance, this is one of the very best healthcare packages available to part-time employees.

2. Caribou Coffee

Caribou Coffee also offers health insurance to part-timers. It may help to explain why so many adults are becoming baristas.

The company offers many benefits normally associated with full-time employment, including participation in the 401(k) plan and paid time off. Medical, dental and vision coverage require that you work 20 or more hours per week. The site does not indicate a waiting period in order to be eligible to participate in the health insurance plan.

Read more: How Much Should You Contribute To Your 401(k)?

3. Whole Foods

Whole Foods offers medical, dental and vision coverage to part-time employees.

You are eligible if you work at least 20 hours per week and have successfully completed the required probationary period of employment — which is not disclosed on the company website.

4. United Parcel Service (UPS)

UPS has long been in the forefront of providing health insurance and other benefits to its part-time employees. The company advertises “full-time benefits for part-time employees”, and is one of the only companies anywhere that offers hourly employees full benefits.

Some of those benefits include:

  • Medical
  • Dental
  • Vision
  • Prescription Drug Program
  • Life Insurance
  • Supplemental Group Universal Life Program
  • Sickness & Accident Insurance
  • Long-Term Disability with Inflation coverage
  • Long-Term Care Insurance
  • Child/Eldercare Spending Accounts
  • Healthcare Spending Accounts
  • Cancer Insurance

There is a less-than-perfect news in regard to UPS’s health benefits for part-timers: in order to qualify, you must be employed for a minimum of 12 months. This is not listed on the company website, but it is scuttlebutt that is commonly available throughout the web. Also, there is no minimum hourly requirement listed on the site.

5. Costco

Costco offers two medical plans: Aetna Select plan and Hawaii PPO and HMO plan. Each plan provides coverage for the preventive and routine care, as well as services and treatment you need when you’re ill or injured.

The Hawaii PPO and HMO Plan is for employees who live in Hawaii, and the Choice Plus Plan for everyone else. Coverage also includes dental, vision, prescription drug coverage.

You have to complete a 180 day waiting period, and maintain eligibility by working an average of 20 or more eligible paid hours per week.

Read more: How To Pick A Health Insurance Plan

6. Lowe’s

At Lowe’s, all regular, part-time employees can participate in the following benefit options:

  • Limited Benefit Health Plan
  • Term Life Insurance
  • Vision Care
  • Dental Plan
  • Short-Term Disability

You become eligible for these benefits as of the date of hire. You must enroll in the first 31 days of employment or during a Special Enrollment Period. Coverage will be effective on the day the part time employee completes the enrollment election through the enrollment web site.

This is a limited benefit health plan, which almost certainly indicates that they will only pay a flat amount for each medical event. We can probably also suppose that this is handled on a reimbursement basis, rather than being paid directly to the healthcare provider.

Still, any healthcare coverage is better than none at all.

7. Staples

This one is a bit complicated. Staples offers a “fixed benefit” health plan to it’s part time employees. The plan is not considered “creditable” coverage for the purposes of health care reform. As a result – even if you have coverage through this plan – you may still be assessed a federal penalty when you file your taxes (unless you have coverage under another medical plan).

In short, it’s coverage, but apparently insufficient to qualify you as being considered covered under Obamacare.

The plan is provided by Aetna, and it reimburses a set amount for the services you receive during the year. There is no deductible for medical services or prescription drugs. There are also maximum reimbursements, based on the number of office visits, or the number of days of hospitalization.

You’re eligible for the plan 60 days after hire, but you must enroll during the annual open enrollment period, or within 45 days of your hire date if you are a new associate. Your coverage becomes effective as of the first Sunday following 53 days of service.

Coverage includes dental and vision. But here’s the really good news: coverage also extends to family members. That’s unusual in the health insurance for part-timers universe.

Read more: Is Dental Insurance Worth It?


Be aware that the health insurance situation nationwide is evolving rapidly in response to the Affordable Care Act, as well as the relentless escalation in the cost of healthcare in general. Companies that offer health insurance to part-time employees may drop their coverage on short notice, or modify it to lower levels. With this in mind, always investigate, and never assume when it comes to health insurance for a part time job.

But in the meantime, this list represents a good starting point if you’re looking for a part-time job that provides health insurance benefits.

Have you worked for any these companies, or do you know of any other employers who also provide health insurance benefits to their part-time staff?

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