Do part-timers have to work a certain amount of time before they can get the company’s plan? Does health reform make it so that part-timers will be able to get the health plan at work?
Hopeful Part Timer
Dear Hopeful Part Timer,
No, there is no government rule about covering part-timers. Even under health reform, employers do not have to offer a plan to people working less than 30 hours per week (or less than 120 days per year).
Some employers do allow part-timers to join the group plan. The part-timers usually pay more to join than full-timers. You can ask your employer.
If you do not get health insurance from your employer, you will need to buy it on your own or pay the penalty tax. You should start seeing information about your state’s health insurance “exchange” in the late fall of 2013. That is where you will be able to buy a plan as a single (“individual”) person who is not part of a group.