Just Over Half of Eligible Part-Time Workers Elect Health Care Coverage

By on February 25, 2013
PPACAhealthcare

A leading provider  of employee healthcare benefits administration services and  human capital management (HCM) services, today announced the findings of a study based on actual, real-world data for approximately one million employees and more than two million covered lives.


The study found that part-time workers eligible for health care benefits at large companies in the United States elect coverage at a significantly lower rate than full-time employees.

According to the 2012 Study of Large Employer Health Benefits:

  • 88% of the full-time workforce is eligible for benefits. 77% of the eligible full-time employees actually selected health coverage. The result is that 68% of the total full-time workforce is covered by their employer’s health plan.
  • By contrast, the part-time workforce makes up 23% of the total workforce. Only 15% of these part-time employees are eligible for benefits with slightly more than half (53%) choosing to participate.  The result is that 8% of the part-time workforce participates in their employer’s health coverage.
  • The average employer within the Benefits Study contributed $7,225 per annum in health premiums for each employee who enrolled in the employer’s group health plans for benefit year 2012.

The gap between part-time and full-time insured looms large, as the shared responsibility provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires employees credited with service equal to at least 30 hours per week or 130 hours per month, must be automatically eligible for employer–sponsored health plans.  Potentially, this provision could create a spike in part-time employees eligible for benefits starting in 2014.

The 2012 Study of Large Employer Health Benefits also shows that employer size correlates with total premiums, irrespective of employee contribution levels.

Despite wide disparities in total premium costs on an employer-by-employer basis, very large employers (more than 5,000 employees) as a group pay 14% less for health insurance than employers with smaller populations (1,000-2,499 employees.) The benefits of these lower premium costs are shared equally by employer and employee.