How to Get Health Insurance When Working Part Time

So you’re working part-time or as a freelancer, and you need health insurance but aren’t sure where to start. We understand – navigating health insurance options is confusing when you don’t have coverage with a traditional full-time job. But having insurance is so important for your health and financial wellbeing. The good news is, with research, you could find an affordable health insurance plan that meets your needs.

In this blog post, we’re going to be reviewing your options, such as public and private marketplace plans, coverage from a spouse, COBRA plans, and short-term insurance. We’re discussing the costs and benefits of each to help you make the best choice for your situation. Health insurance doesn’t have to be complicated – let us help you demystify it to get you covered and take control of your health.

Qualifying For Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance as a Part-Timer

As a part-time employee, you may still qualify for health insurance with your employer. Many companies offer health insurance benefits to part-time staff who work a minimum number of hours a week, often around 20 to 30 hours. Check with your HR department to see if you meet your employer’s requirements.

Eligibility Requirements

Some employers don’t provide health insurance to part-time workers or seasonal workers. They may also require you to have worked there for some time, such as 4 to 6 months, before qualifying. In some cases though, employers cover a larger portion of premiums for full-timers versus part-time employees. But less coverage is better than none, so take advantage of it if offered.

Premium Options

If eligible, you’re typically going to pay a monthly premium for an employer-sponsored health plan. Many companies deduct premiums directly from your paycheck for convenience. You may be able to choose between multiple plans at different price points based on coverage levels and out-of-pocket medical expenses.

exploring individual and family plans with the health insurance marketplace

Exploring Individual And Family Plans With The Health Insurance Marketplace

Heading to your state’s health insurance marketplace is a great way to find an affordable health plan when working part time. The marketplace offers individual and family plans from private insurers in your area. Compare plans side by side to find one that suits your needs and budget.

Check If You Qualify for Savings

Check if you qualify for subsidies such as a premium tax credit and cost-sharing reductions. These could reduce your monthly premiums and out-of-pocket costs like copays. Your eligibility depends on your income and family size. Even if you don’t qualify for subsidies, you may still find affordable plans on the marketplace.

Compare Plans and Choose What Fits You

Health plans on the marketplace are categorized as bronze, silver, gold and platinum based on what they cover. Bronze plans have the lowest premiums but highest out-of-pocket costs. Platinum plans have the highest premiums but lowest out-of-pocket costs. A silver plan may strike a good balance for you.

Compare plans based on:

  • Monthly premiums: The amount you pay each month.

  • Deductibles: The amount you pay before coverage kicks in.

  • Copays: The amounts you pay for care.

  • Provider network: Choose a plan that has your doctor and important doctors in-network.

Comparing Short-Term Health Insurance Plans

Short-term health insurance plans can be an affordable option when you’re between jobs or waiting for new coverage to kick in. However, these plans typically only provide coverage for a limited time, usually three months to a year. They also often exclude pre-existing conditions and don’t cover essential health benefits such as prescription drugs or maternity care.


Short-term plans are typically very inexpensive. Premiums can be as low as $50 to $200 a month depending on your age, health, and coverage needs. While the lower premiums may be appealing, make sure you understand exactly what the plan does and does not cover before purchasing.


Short-term plans provide temporary coverage for unexpected injuries or illnesses. They do not cover pre-existing conditions, preventive care, prescription drugs or maternity care. They can deny your application or claims for any reason. Carefully check what medical services are covered and excluded.


Most short-term plans cannot be renewed after the initial term expires. You will need to reapply and there is no guarantee of being approved again or receiving the same rates. Some plans may allow you to renew once or twice, but coverage is still time-limited.

getting medicaid coverage as a part time worker

Getting Medicaid Coverage as a Part-Time Worker

If you work part-time, Medicaid may be an option for health insurance. Medicaid is a state and federal program that provides medical coverage to low-income individuals including families, children, pregnant women, the disabled, elderly, and parents of dependent children.

  • As a part-time worker, your income may qualify you for Medicaid depending on your state’s income requirements. In most states, if your monthly income is below a certain threshold, you’ll likely meet the income requirements for Medicaid eligibility. The income limit varies by state and eligibility category but is often around $1,400 a month for a single person.

  • To apply to Medicaid, you’re going to need to apply with your state’s Medicaid office. You can apply online, by phone, in person, or by mailing in forms. When applying, you’re going to need information such as income records, your social security numbers, and other personal information for members of your household.

  • Medicaid offers comprehensive coverage including doctor visits, hospital stays, vaccinations, nursing home, and more. Medicaid covers all medically necessary services at almost no cost to enrollees. Some Medicaid plans also cover over-the-counter medications and medical transportation to and from health care providers.

For part-time workers, Medicaid can be an affordable coverage option if you meet your state’s income requirements. And if your income changes or you become eligible for other types of coverage, you can disenroll from Medicaid at any time.

Medicaid may provide the health coverage you need as a part-time employee. Benefits vary, so check with your state’s Medicaid program to know if you qualify and apply.

Medicare if You're 65+

Once you turn 65, you become eligible for Medicare which provides health insurance coverage. As a part-time worker, Medicare is a great option to get the coverage you need. Here are the basics:

Medicare Part A covers inpatient hospital stays and is free for most Americans. Medicare Part B covers outpatient care like doctor visits and has a monthly premium. Most people sign up for Part A and Part B, known as Original Medicare.

Consider a Medicare Advantage Plan

Medicare Advantage Plans, like HMOs and PPOs, are offered by private companies approved by Medicare. They provide Part A and Part B coverage, and often Part D prescription drug coverage. Many have low or even zero premiums. These plans have provider networks, so check that your doctors and hospitals are in-network.

Choose Prescription Drug Coverage

Medicare Part D adds prescription drug coverage. Like Medicare Advantage Plans, Part D plans are offered by private companies approved by Medicare. Compare plans to find one that covers your medications at the best price.

Supplement Insurance

Medigap plans supplement Original Medicare, covering out-of-pocket costs like copays and deductibles. Plans are standardized, so compare based on price and benefits. Medigap tends to have higher premiums, but less out-of-pocket costs.

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