11 Employers That Pay for Your Health Insurance if You’re a Part-Time Worker

A Starbucks employee hands a drink to a customer.
Starbucks offers health insurance to part-time employees. Photo courtesy of Starbucks


Employers of a certain size, by law, have to offer health insurance to full-time workers. But some employers extend coverage to part-timers, too.

The Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, defines “full time” as 30 hours or more per week. That’s right — 30, not 40.

“That definitely doesn’t sync up with common usage,” David Frazzini, a partner and health benefits expert at the HR consulting firm Mercer.

If you regularly clock 30 hours a week, and if your employer is large enough, they should be providing health insurance, according to the ACA.

Some employers market this as a perk but, really, they’re obligated to give it to you. Or they may offer some health benefits to part-timers, but the perks aren’t robust enough to qualify as health insurance.

Other companies really do go above and beyond what is required by law. Here are seven big employers that offer part-time jobs with health insurance.

11 Places to Find Part-Time Jobs With Health Insurance

These employers offer health insurance to part-timers working less than 30 hours per week.

  • Chipotle
  • Costco
  • The federal government
  • Lowe’s
  • REI
  • Starbucks
  • UPS
  • JP Morgan Chase
  • Amazon
  • Walmart
  • National Guard

More details about each of the 11 employers and their health care offerings for part-time workers:

1. Chipotle

All hourly workers at Chipotle restaurants are eligible for a suite of health insurance plans. The fast-casual burrito chain provides medical, dental and vision insurance with dependent coverage.

Medical plans are available through Anthem, according to the company’s latest benefits handbook. The vision plan is through EyeMed, and dental is through Delta Dental. Through a separate employee assistance plan, you can also receive mental health counseling for you and your dependents for free — face-to-face, over the phone or through teleconferencing.

Health plans are just some of the perks available to part-timers. The company has been beefing up its benefits package for years. Chipotle also offers accrued paid time off, sick leave, stock options, a 401(k) plan and tuition reimbursement to part-time staff.

Chipotle operates in 48 states and Washington, D.C. Find a job near you on Chipotle’s career page.

2. Costco

Costco, the membership-based wholesale retail chain, is known for providing comprehensive benefits and fair wages. If you work as a permanent, hourly part-timer in the contiguous U.S. for an average of at least 23 hours per week, you qualify for health insurance and other benefits. In Hawaii, you’ll qualify for benefits as long as you’re logging at least 20 hours per week.

The Aetna health plan for part-timers has a $550 individual deductible, and you’ll be charged a copay for most doctor’s visits and prescription drugs. The company shares its health-care benefits summary publically.

According to Costco’s benefits website, the benefits begin the “first day of the second month following 450 eligible paid hours” in the contiguous U.S. For example, if you’re working 24 hours a week, it will take you about four months to accrue 450 working hours. Your benefits would start after that, on the first day of the following month.

If you’re in Hawaii, you only need to work at Costco for four weeks. Then, the benefits will start on the first day of the next month.

Costco stores are located in 45 states and Washington, D.C. Look for jobs near you on the company’s career page.

3. The Federal Government

No matter how few hours you work for the federal government, you’ll be eligible for the same health insurance benefits as full-time employees — as long as your position is permanent.

What varies is how much comes out of your paycheck, according to the Office of Personnel Management, the agency that manages the federal government’s civilian workforce.

“Part-time employees… receive the same coverage as full-time employees but pay a greater percentage of the premium,” the website states. “For example, an employee on a 20-hour-per-week schedule receives one-half the Government contribution towards the premium.”

You can find federal government jobs at agencies such as the Postal Service, the Internal Revenue Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the Department of Veterans Affairs on the USA Jobs website.

4. Lowe’s

The home-improvement retailer offers regular, part-time workers a variety of benefits at most locations. You can enroll in medical, dental, vision and pharmacy plans upon hiring, and benefits will kick in after a full month of employment, though the benefits are limited for part-timers.

There are three different coverage options. Each plan has a $300 deductible, or $600 per family:

  • Low Plan: Covers up to $2,500 in medical expenses per year.
  • High Plan: Covers up to $5,000 in medical expenses per year.
  • Enhanced Plan: Covers up to $50,000 in medical expenses per year.
Pro Tip

Use Lowe’s benefits calculator to see what medical coverage is available in your area.

If you are a part-time employee, there are some exemptions in coverage if you have a pre-existing condition for the first 12-18 months.

Lowe’s operates in all 50 states. Check its career webpage to find jobs nearby.

5. REI

REI, which stands for Recreational Equipment, Inc., is a membership cooperative that provides outdoors equipment and apparel for sale and for rent. Co-ops aren’t like traditional businesses. They’re run more democratically and are focused on the needs of their members and workers rather than consumers or investors.

So it makes sense that they offer a generous benefits package. Several health care plans are available to part-time employees who work at least 20 hours per week, including an HSA, PPO and in select states, Kaiser Healthcare Plans.

But there’s a big catch: You’re going to have to wait for medical coverage. You won’t be eligible until a year after your hire date as a part-time worker.

The company operates in 39 states and in Washington, D.C. and employs more than 153,000 workers. Use REI’s job board to see if they’re hiring near you.

6. Starbucks

A Starbucks employees gives an order to a customer in the drive-thru.
In addition to health insurance for part-timers, Starbucks also pays toward their college education costs. Photo courtesy of Starbucks

Starbucks provides five tiers of medical plans for eligible hourly workers, and eligibility is based on a work week of about 20 hours. The exact number is a little more complex and is based on 240 hours worked over a three month period.

“For example, if you are hired on May 2, we would measure for 240 paid hours in June, July and August. If you meet the requirement over that time, you would receive your enrollment kit in September and become benefits eligible effective October 1,” according to an employee benefits packet.

Starbucks is also one of the few major employers that will pay for your college education as a part-time worker.

Starbucks’ latest medical insurance package includes Bronze, Bronze Plus, Silver, Gold and Platinum coverage options. Depending on the plan, individual deductibles range from zero to $3,300. And copays run from $25 to $50 for doctor’s visits.

Starbucks operates about 15,000 stores across all states in the U.S. Find a gig nearby through its online career board.

7. UPS

UPS has one of the most comprehensive benefits packages for part-time employees. It includes medical, dental, vision and pharmacy programs.

Plans may vary by location. According to the TeamstersCare benefits page, you’ll need to work at least 225 hours over any three month period to qualify. That’s roughly 18 hours per week. If you work 400 hours over three months, you’ll gain access to full-time benefits over that time period.

UPS operates about 5,000 stores nationwide. You can look for jobs online using UPS’s career portal.

8. JP Morgan Chase

If you work at JPMorgan Chase for at least 20 hours per week, you qualify for health insurance benefits. After working for at least 60 days, you will be eligible on the first day of the last month.

So let’s say you got hired on June 15. In August, you would have logged 60 days. You’d be eligible for coverage Sept. 1.

There are a variety of different plans offered through Aetna or Cigna. If you live in California, you’ll also have the choice of a plan offered by Kaiser Permanente.

To see if there are part-time jobs available near you through JPMorgan Chase, checkout their career site.

9. Amazon

Work 20-29 hours per week at Amazon? Then you’re eligible for health insurance, unless you live in one of the following states:

  • Connecticut
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Maryland
  • North Carolina
  • Pennsylvania
  • Utah
  • Wisconsin

There are multiple plans available in the rest of the states, all of which provide 100% coverage of preventative care. Deductibles range from $100 to $1,500 for individuals, and $300 to $4,500 if you want coverage for your entire family.

Amazon employs nearly 1 million people in America. If you’re interested in becoming one of them, you can check out current openings here.

A man rings up a pack of coca-cola for a customer at Walmart.
Photo courtesy of Walmart

10. Walmart

Walmart labels people who work 30 hours/week as part-timers – even though they’re considered full-time workers under the ACA.

However, certain jobs at Walmart will provide health insurance if you are truly part-time, as long as you work at least 24 hours per week over a two-month period. Those jobs include:

  • Pharmacists
  • Nurse practitioners
  • Supply chain associates

You become eligible for benefits after you work 60 days at part-time status in one of these positions, but they won’t kick in until the month where you’ve worked for 89 days.

Here’s how Walmart explains it: “For example, let’s say your hire date is May 11, 2022. Your 60th day is July 9, and on that day you’ve worked enough hours to meet the requirement. Your 89th day is Aug. 7, so benefits become effective on Aug. 1.”

You can find open positions here if you’re interested in being one of their 1.6 million US-based employees.

11. National Guard

Age 35 or under and think you’ve got what it takes to be a reservist? If so, the National Guard offers coverage through TRICARE Reserve Select.

Costs depend on your rank. If you’re E1-E4, deductibles are $56/individual or $112/family, while ranks of E5+ — who are paid more — have deductibles of $168/individual or $336/family. If you only need coverage for yourself, it’ll run you $46/month in premiums. If you want family coverage, premiums are $229.99/month.

TRICARE doesn’t necessarily mean everything’s covered. In fact, there’s a significant list of exclusions; plans offered by Starbucks provide more coverage in some instances.

Joining the military even as a “part-time” reservist is a serious commitment. Be sure to fully understand the obligations before signing your name on the dotted line. If you do decide that service is right for you, here’s where you can learn more.

When an ACA plan is cheaper and smarter for part-timers

Many circumstances may drive you to look for health insurance through a part-time job. Maybe your partner has a full-time job and you don’t need to work as much. You might have child or elder care responsibilities. Or perhaps you’re looking to “retire” early as part of the FIRE movement.

Whatever the case, Frazzini of Mercer says to consider your options on the ACA health-care exchange website.

“For low-income people, the subsidies on the ACA exchanges are pretty generous,” he said, noting that subsidized health plans through the exchange may be cheaper than ones provided by an employer if you’re a part-timer.

In some cases, being eligible for an employer-sponsored plan as a part-time worker might not be a good thing.

“If you are offered coverage by your employer, you actually become ineligible for those subsidies — regardless of whether you take it,” he said.

Also be aware that some employers offer health benefits but not health insurance. For example, in 2021, Target  started offering its part-timers a certain number of free telehealth visits with doctors and therapists. And some companies offer cost-share perks for hospitalizations.

Pittsburgh-based writer Brynne Conroy is the founder of the Femme Frugality blog and the author of “The Feminist Financial Handbook.” She is a regular contributor to The Penny Hoarder. Adam Hardy is a former staff writer.