According to 2020 data collected by the Kaiser Family Foundation, 96.7% of large firms — those with 50 full-time equivalent employees or more — offer health insurance to their employees. Just 31% of firms with fewer than 50 full-time employees offered health insurance benefits to employees.
What accounts for the discrepancy? It’s largely because small businesses aren’t required to provide employer-sponsored health coverage under the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act (PPACA), popularly known as the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare.
Meanwhile, even among larger employers that do offer health insurance benefits to full-time employees, part-time employees get short shrift. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data from early 2021, just 23% of part-time workers in civilian occupations (including private industry and state and local government) had access to employer-sponsored health insurance coverage.
Companies Offering Health Insurance Benefits to Part-Time Employees
To make matters worse, some companies have scaled back or eliminated benefits packages for part-time workers in recent years.
Target, Walmart, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and Home Depot have all discontinued health or retirement plans (or both) for part-time staff in recent years. They’ve raised the threshold for health coverage eligibility to 30 hours per week and retirement benefits eligibility to 40 hours per week.
For health, dental, and vision coverage, workers who don’t work 30 hours per week must turn to state or federal insurance exchanges.
Fortunately, some companies still offer health benefits and other perks, such as dental coverage and 401(k) plans, to employees who work part-time jobs (less than 30 hours per week).
Here are some of the largest, most geographically diverse companies that offer health insurance and other benefits to part-time workers.
1. Allegis Group
Formerly known as Aerotek, Maryland-based Allegis Group is a staffing firm that employs roughly 10,000 full-time employees and almost 100,000 contractors and temp workers.
The company does business through several subsidiaries, including one that bears the Aerotek name, and its benefits apply to all temp and contract employees who work at least 20 hours per week.
If you’re a qualifying Allegis Group employee, you’re eligible for medical, dental, and vision coverage paid for through paycheck contributions. Eligibility begins on the first day of the month following your hire date.
According to employee reports, the plan available to part-timers qualifies as a high deductible health plan (HDHP). Allegis covers a portion of this plan’s premiums, although specifics aren’t publicly available. If you have dependents, they may be eligible for unsubsidized family coverage.
Allegis offers a health savings account (HSA) to complement this plan. The company makes matching contributions to this HSA at its discretion.
If you’re a new contract worker or temp employee, you must apply for benefits within 30 days of your hire date. Otherwise, you have to wait until the next open enrollment period.
Allegis Group also offers a 401(k) plan that includes an employee match. The match is 100% of the first $500 in employee contributions and 50% of the next $500, for a total possible employer match of up to $750 per year.
These figures are subject to change, so check back regularly or go directly to Allegis’s website for up-to-date information. Benefits may vary by subsidiary as well.
Allegis also provides an annual profit-sharing bonus at the managers’ discretion to internal (not contract) part-time workers at its subsidiaries. Eligible employees may receive part of the profit-sharing bonus as a 401(k) deposit that’s separate from the annual employer match.
Other benefits for part- and full-time employees include life and disability insurance, a 529 college savings plan, tuition reimbursement, and paid sick leave and vacation time. These benefits are immediately available to new hires, although vacation and sick leave accrue according to a time-served schedule.
Seattle-based Costco is the country’s second-largest big box retailer. It has more than 700 warehouse stores and well over 100,000 employees. With a starting wage of $17 per hour, according to CNN, the company’s compensation is quite generous for a major retailer.
And with the vast majority of Costco employees participating in a health or retirement plan, its benefits are pretty popular, although all are subject to change or discontinuation at Costco’s discretion.
Any Costco employee who works more than 23 hours per week and logs 180 days of service is eligible for a comprehensive health insurance plan administered by Aetna.
Part-timers also have access to a low-cost dental plan, which covers preventative visits and some costs of basic procedures, as well as basic vision coverage.
Because all Costco locations have a pharmacy, part-time employees enjoy an in-house prescription plan with low copays for generic drugs and branded medications — generally less than 20%. This benefit is separate from the main health insurance plan.
Payroll deductions for health and dental plans are available in Costco’s Rate Benefits Booklet, which is only available to Costco employees.
Part-time employees can access Costco’s 401(k) plan, which includes a maximum company match of the lesser of $500 or 50% of total salary deferral contributions annually.
An optional flexible spending account (FSA) lets employees use pretax earnings to pay for day care and other covered dependent care services.
Plus, Costco’s Care Network provides free mental health counseling and offers referrals to debt counselors and lawyers. These third-party service providers may charge fees for their services.
Other Costco benefits include a direct stock purchase plan, disability and life insurance, and long-term care insurance. All of these benefits are available to part-time staff who log 180 days of service and work more than 23 hours per week, but they’re subject to change at Costco’s sole discretion.
3. Lowe’s Home Improvement
Charlotte-based Lowe’s, one of the world’s largest home improvement outlets, has more than 250,000 employees spread across nearly 2,000 locations in the U.S. and abroad.
Unlike Home Depot, its main rival, Lowe’s extends health insurance benefits to all nonseasonal part-time employees. And Lowe’s is unusually transparent about its employee benefits, making detailed information about medical, dental, vision, and other benefits available to the general public through BenefitsPricing, a third-party website.
After hitting 89 days of consecutive service, you’ll enjoy access to a very good health plan as a part-time employee. The plan covers 100% of the cost of all preventive care and up to six primary care visits per year.
Other coverage details vary by state, so check BenefitsPricing for details about what’s available in your area.
And bear in mind that while there’s no minimum hours-worked threshold to qualify, you must apply within 31 days of hire or wait until the following open enrollment period.
You can also enroll in life insurance and short-term disability plans as a Lowe’s part-timer.
The company’s other benefits include:
- A direct stock purchase plan after one month of service that entitles you to purchase Lowe’s shares at a 15% discount
- A 401(k) plan after one month of service with a company match up to 4.25% on contributions of 6% or greater and 100% vesting immediately
- Several types of insurance coverage, including term life and short-term disability
- Basic vision and dental insurance coverage
Seattle-based Starbucks has tens of thousands of stores and employs hundreds of thousands workers globally. Even if you’re not a coffee fan, it’s very likely that you encounter one or more Starbucks locations in your daily or weekly routine.
Most Starbucks employees are part-time. The coffee company has a reputation for treating its workers well — the average hourly wage exceeds $13.50 per hour for baristas and $16 per hour for supervisors. These figures are much higher in pricier labor markets.
Starbucks was also one of the first food service chains to offer a comprehensive employee benefits package: the Starbucks Special Blend. Bucking the trend among other lower-wage employers, these benefits have actually improved over time due to labor shortages and a union drive by Starbucks employees.
Employees who work more than 20 hours per week or 240 hours per quarter are eligible to enroll in Starbucks’ benefits program.
The Special Blend’s health coverage portion includes various medical plans, from bare-bones high-deductible health plans to a generous Platinum plan with low out-of-pocket maximums and no coinsurance or deductible.
Three optional dental plans that cover preventive visits and some or most procedural costs (depending on plan tier) are also available, as are three vision plans with varying levels of coverage.
The Starbucks Special Blend is indeed comprehensive. Its nonmedical benefits include:
- Short-term disability and accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) insurance plans
- Employee assistance programs that include low-cost counseling
- A dependent care reimbursement account (dependent care FSA)
- Adoption assistance
- College savings plans
- A 401(k) plan that includes an employer match of up to 6% of total employee contributions
Atlanta-based UPS is among the world’s largest logistics firms, with about 430,000 employees globally. Its drivers earn good money — averaging upwards of $22 per hour, according to Indeed.
And those willing to work nights and holidays, especially during the mad rush between Black Friday and New Year’s, can really rack up overtime pay.
Most of UPS’s U.S. hourly employees, including warehouse and delivery workers, operate under collective bargaining agreements that have produced attractive benefits packages.
As part of the Teamsters union, hourly UPS workers who log at least 225 hours in any three-month eligibility determination period (about 19 hours per week) are eligible for the same TeamstersCare benefits normally extended to full-time Teamsters members.
If you hit 400 hours in any three-month eligibility determination period, you qualify for full-time benefits, which are even more generous than those available to part-timers.
All TeamstersCare-eligible UPS part-time employees can choose basic health plans that cover preventive medical and dental services. These plans include a low copay for generic prescription drugs and coinsurance for more expensive procedures. A basic vision plan is also included.
Under the terms of UPS’s current collective bargaining agreement, which is subject to change, part-time workers pay nothing out-of-pocket for these benefits, setting UPS apart from most other companies providing part-time benefits. Most companies require employees to contribute a portion of their pay to the health plans.
Depending on their role, workers may be eligible for union-administered plans subsidized by UPS contributions. These plans are subject to change at UPS’s discretion and with alterations to collective bargaining arrangements, so check with UPS management before applying.
UPS workers enjoy a slew of other benefits at little or no out-of-pocket cost: life, disability, and death and dismemberment insurance; adoption assistance; and tobacco cessation support. Dependent spouses and children qualify for some of these benefits as well.
UPS also offers supplemental life insurance; personal lines insurance (auto and home lines); legal assistance; and health savings accounts for workers and dependent spouses, children, and elders. These products all require employee-paid premiums.
Finally, because nearly half of its part-time employees take college courses, UPS offers tuition assistance of up to $5,250 per year, with a $25,000 lifetime cap, through the Earn and Learn Program. New employees are immediately eligible for this benefit.
With 15,000 employees at just over 150 retail stores, Seattle-based REI is routinely cited as one of the country’s best retailers to work for. It’s still structured as a co-op, although not every employee has an ownership stake, and high-level decisions are made by a traditional board of directors.
The average REI customer service associate earns about $15 per hour, according to Indeed. The average stocking associate clears about $22 per hour. The company has an unusually flat pay scale as well, with the CEO taking home about $825,000 in base compensation and about $3.2 million total in 2019, according to REI’s executive compensation report.
REI once offered benefits to all employees, including those working just a few hours per week. Although it discontinued this practice in the mid-2010s, REI still extends full-time benefits to all employees working at least 20 hours per week. You must average 20 hours per week over the course of a 12-month period.
If you average fewer than 20 hours per week, you can still get “tools” to help navigate the individual health insurance marketplace — although it’s not clear exactly what that means.
If you’re a nonexempt REI employee who averages at least 20 hours per week, you have access to all the company’s health insurance plan options. REI shoulders most of the premium burden for medical and dental coverage, but the exact share depends on the plan selected — there are several.
Exact premium costs aren’t publicly available for any plan. Vision coverage is less generous across the board.
REI also offers basic life insurance, disability insurance, and 401(k) plans that are immediately available to part-timers who work 20 hours per week. It shoulders the full cost of life and disability insurance.
The retirement plan includes a dollar-for-dollar company match, up to 5% of total income, with the potential for a profit-sharing 401(k) deposit equivalent to 10% of your total income. This profit-sharing portion depends on the company’s profitability during the previous year.
As a part-timer, you can also apply for medical or personal leaves of absence, which are approved on a case-by-case basis. And regardless of how much you work, you’re entitled to generous discounts on REI products and services, including 30% off trips taken with REI Adventures.
A brick-and-mortar retailer that still offers solid benefits to part-time associates in its stores and warehouses? Believe it or not, that’s Staples, the office supply giant that maintains a network of retail outlets to complement its growing e-commerce engine.
Boston-based Staples provides health insurance coverage and a slew of other benefits to hourly and full-time employees, including store-based associates and corporate campus workers.
However, Staples holds hourly workers to a strict definition of “part-time” for its health insurance plan: working an average of 30 hours or more per week during the plan’s measurement period.
For part-timers who qualify for Staples’ health plan, the benefits are quite attractive: full coverage for in-network preventive care, relatively low deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums, and reasonable coinsurance for services not covered in full (the employee pays 20% of service costs).
Optional vision and dental coverage are available. Staples doesn’t publicly reveal premiums for health, vision, or dental coverage, however.
Part-time Staples employees qualify for a host of additional benefits:
- A 401(k) plan with a company match of 50% on the first 6% of eligible contributions
- Disability insurance
- Life insurance
- Accidental death and dismemberment insurance (AD&D)
- Pet health insurance
- Retail discounts — 10% off all purchases online or in-store and an additional 10% off branded Staples products
As the country’s largest self-serve moving firm, Phoenix-based U-Haul has more than 20,000 employees and tens of thousands of trucks, trailers, and storage units. With a work-from-home customer service team and lots of seasonal warehousing and sales positions, the company’s workforce is flexible.
U-Haul offers a limited medical and dental plan that features a medical reimbursement plan. This plan covers the cost of specific medical services for part-timers and temporary workers — which U-Haul calls Moonlighters — up to a defined benefit amount that’s not publicly disclosed. Full-time employees are eligible for more generous medical plans that do meet the ACA’s minimum requirements.
If you expect to require a significant amount of medical care during the year, consider applying for supplemental medical insurance. Otherwise, you could exhaust your benefit amount quickly.
As a part-time or temporary U-Haul employee, you’re also eligible for basic dental and vision coverage with 100% coverage for preventive visits and exams. Once you meet the annual deductible, dental copays are reasonable — 20% for basic services and 50% for major services.
After a year of service as a part-timer, you’re eligible for a direct stock purchase plan that’s 100% vested after six years. You’re eligible for the company’s 401(k) plan after 30 days of service with a default contribution of 3% of gross pay, although there’s no company match.
Additional perks include optional insurance coverage (including auto and homeowners insurance), discounts on U-Haul equipment, and access to a company credit union.
9. JPMorgan Chase
JPMorgan Chase & Co is a blue-chip financial institution with a storied history and a reputation that’s alternately buttoned-up and high-flying.
Its products and services are too diverse to name here, but the most recognizable bits of its business include consumer and business bank accounts, private wealth management services, and a host of popular cash-back credit cards and small-business credit cards.
Chase might not seem like the best choice for a part-time summer job or side hustle, but it actually treats part-time employees pretty generously. After 60 days of employment, those logging more than 20 hours per week are eligible for a generous benefits package.
Chase employees can choose from one of two medical coverage options, both of which qualify as “consumer-driven health options” with a medical reimbursement account (MRA) that helps employees pay for certain medical costs not covered by the plan itself.
Most plans cover 100% of the cost of in-network preventive care, with no exclusions for preexisting conditions, and spouse and domestic partner care. In all cases, Chase shoulders some premium costs, although it doesn’t make details of this arrangement public.
Generally, veteran employees and those with higher positions of responsibility within the company enjoy more generous cost-sharing arrangements.
Chase also supports three dental plan options with similar cost-sharing arrangements: preferred dentist program (PDP), dental maintenance organization (DMO)/dental health maintenance organization (DMHO), or a traditional indemnity dental option.
A separate health spending account option, with variable employer contribution, is available as well.
Chase offers a slew of additional benefits for 20-hour-plus employees:
- Flexible spending accounts, including accounts earmarked specifically for transportation and elder care
- Long-term disability insurance paid in full by Chase for employees earning under $60,000 per year, which likely include most part-timers and partially paid by Chase for higher-compensated employees
- Life insurance
- AD&D insurance
- Personal liability insurance
- Discounted employee stock purchase program
- 401(k) plans with variable but generous employer contributions
10. Chipotle Mexican Grill
Fans of fast-casual fare likely need no introduction to Chipotle Mexican Grill, a Denver-based quick-serve restaurant chain with thousands of locations and tens of thousands of employees in North America. Many Chipotle employees work part-time.
What’s more surprising, given the restaurant industry’s razor-thin margins and high employee turnover, is Chipotle’s apparent commitment to its part-time staff. Chipotle is also admirably transparent about its benefits package for part-timers, which the company refers to as crew members.
Most Chipotle crew members can choose from one of two medical coverage options; California-based employees may have more options.
The Anthem Preventive Plus option has lower premiums but skimpier coverage, while the Anthem Hourly PPO has higher premiums and more generous benefits. Chipotle doesn’t make the specific details of either plan available to the general public, however.
Chipotle also offers optional dental and vision coverage for hourly part-timers. Specifics for these plans aren’t publicly available either.
Chipotle offers a host of additional benefits, ranging from free meals on every shift to free access to emotional counseling and health care advocates.
After a year of uninterrupted service, employees qualify for an additional slate of benefits:
- 40 hours of paid vacation time and 24 hours of paid sick time per year
- Up to $5,250 in tuition reimbursement
- A company match in a Chipotle 401(k) account
- An employee stock purchase plan
- Gym discounts
- Discounts with retail partners like AT&T and Verizon
While some companies have scaled back benefits for part-time employees, it’s still possible to find bigger employers offering solid benefits packages to part-time staff. If you’re not finding open positions at any of the employers on this list, you might have luck with local or regional companies known for treating their employees well.
It’s true that these benefits might not be as robust as those offered to full-time workers, and they may have restrictions or limits on coverage. But employer-sponsored group health insurance plans still tend to be more affordable than plans purchased on the private market, especially when companies help subsidize the cost.