Obamacare and union plan

Will all members of the Motion Picture Industry Union be able to buy health insurance through Obamacare if they do not have enough hours?

Tending Bar Between Takes

Dear Tending Bar Between Takes,

The union is not itself an employer and therefore does not have to offer its plan to “full-timers” under health reform.  According to the union plan’s website, you need to earn a minimum of 600 hours in one (or two consecutive) six-month Qualifying Periods. This is effectively less than 30 hours per week which health reform considers full time. So the union plan is already offering coverage to more people than health reform would require from an employer.

If you still far short of the 600 hours mark, you can buy coverage by yourself on the insurance exchange.  If you don’t buy coverage, you could be charged the tax.  There are several ways that you might escape the tax, however.  One, you can go without coverage for three months and pay no penalty.  Two, the lowest cost plan can eat up more than 8 percent of your income.  Three, you have religious objections to health insurance.  Aside from that, you’ll need to find a plan you can afford.

Legend has it that Bruce Willis was a bartender before he got a lucky break.  So keep those drinks coming!

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.