Obamacare: not all employers have to offer a plan

Will hourly employees get medical insurance with the health reform changes?  Right now, my employer gives the salaried people health insurance but not the hourly people.  Most of the hourly people are like me and work anywhere from 25 to 40 hours a week, depending on the workload.  I’d love to get onto their plan! I’ve been without coverage for over a year now.

Working Hard, Going Bare

Dear Working Hard, Going Bare,

For health reform, whether you are hourly or salaried does not matter. It is the size of the company that makes the difference.  Employees will get group medical insurance if they are at companies with 50 or more employees and work 30 hours per week for at least 120 days a year. This is the “employer mandate” part of the health reform law.

Employees at smaller companies might also be offered a health plan, but smaller companies are not required by health reform to do so. The same is true for part-timers: some employers may offer part-timers coverage, but it is not required.

Regardless of employment, all U.S. citizens and certain other legal residents will be required to have health insurance. This is the “individual mandate” part of the law.  So, if your employer does not offer a plan – it is smaller than 50 or you don’t qualify as full-time – you will need to buy one on your own or pay a penalty.  To look at your options, visit healthcare.gov and click “Find Insurance Options Now” on the home page.

Linda Riddell

About Linda Riddell

A published author and health policy analyst with 25 years’ experience, Linda Riddell's goal is to alleviate the widespread ailment of not knowing what your health plan can do for you.