If you were to take a straw poll asking human resource professionals to name their most challenging tasks, chances are dealing with the complexities of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would be in the top five.

The requirements for the Affordable Care Act for part-time and full-time employees differ; here we’re taking a look at the specifics for part-time employees. (If you’re looking for information about the ACA for full-time employees, check our archive of ACA-related stories here.)

The Affordable Care Act & Part-Time Employees

What are the minimum hours to qualify for health insurance?

In order to qualify for health insurance, employees must work an average of at least 30 hours per week.

Employers are not required to provide health insurance for part-time employees, even if they provide coverage for full-time employees.

Definitions: Full- and Part-Time Employees

  • Federal law defines a full-time employee as any employee who works an average of at least 30 hours per week. Or 130 hours per month.
  • Part-time employees work an average of less than 30 hours per week.

So, the working definition of a full-time employee—someone who works 40 hours a week—isn’t a legal, accurate definition when it comes to defining full- and part-time employees for the ACA.

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Certain employers, called applicable large employers (ALEs), must either offer minimum essential coverage that is “affordable” and provides “minimum value” to their full-time employees (and their dependents), or potentially make an employer shared responsibility payment to the IRS. These provisions are referred to as “the employer mandate” or “the pay or play provisions.

Can employers offer health insurance to part-time employees?

Yes, employers can offer health insurance to part-time employees if they choose to but it is not a federal requirement. However, it is a huge benefit for employees. So if you’re looking to attract talent, consider whether this is a benefit you can afford to offer your part-time employees.

What else should employers consider regarding the ACA & part-time employees?

Make sure your health insurance policies are consistent for all your employees. These policies should be identified and clearly explained in your employee handbook.

How can you procure the best health insurance for your employees?

You can choose to purchase health insurance for your small business on your own, but doing so puts you at a disadvantage: You don’t get the economies of scale larger companies have access to; the costs of insurance for you and your employees may be expensive; and you likely won’t have anyone to help you administer or manage your insurance plans.

As a PEO (professional employer organization), Genesis HR can give you access to health insurance options your small business would not be able to procure otherwise. But that’s not all! We also help companies like yours understand and stay in compliance with ACA and state-level health insurance requirements, take over the considerable burden of finding and managing health insurance plans, and may even help you save money on the costs of insurance for your employees.

Partnering with Genesis on health insurance means you can get back to doing the work you were made to do.

To learn more about partnering with us, schedule a discovery call today. You may realize your team has been spending too much time on HR, and not enough time on the tasks that actually make you profitable.

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