Obamacare — how many hours are full-time?

How many hours do you have to work so that your employer has to offer you health insurance?  When will that employer mandate go into effect?

Looking Ahead

Dear Looking Ahead,

Starting January 1, 2014, if you work 30 hours a week or more and your employer has at least 50 full-time workers, then they are required to offer you a health plan or pay a penalty.  (That’s the short story without the nitty gritty of how to count people or work hours.)  If your income is less than 400 percent of Federal Poverty, then the law also sets the maximum that you can be asked to pay to join the plan.  On top of that, the plan offered has to meet standards set by the law.

January 1, 2014 is also the date that you have to have health insurance, whether you get health insurance from your employer or on your own.  There are a few exceptions – religious objections (and you can’t make up your own religion), American Indians, undocumented immigrants, people in jail, and people who would have to spend eight percent of their income on the lowest cost plan.  You can also go for three months without coverage and not pay a penalty.  Other than that, if you are a U.S. citizen or legal resident, plan on getting a plan or paying a penalty.

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.