Up until now, if you’ve been a part-time worker, you might not have had health coverage at all. Here’s what you need to know about getting coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
Are you really part time?
The first thing you should figure out is whether you are part time as defined by the Affordable Care Act. As of 2015, you will be considered a full-time employee under the new law if you’re working more than 30 hours per week. If you work less than that, you’ll be considered a part-time worker.
If your schedule varies throughout the year and you’re not sure whether your employment status will be full- or part-time, you should ask your employer.
Do you need coverage?
If you’re a part-timer who gets coverage through your job, you’re considered covered under the new law. If you don’t have health benefits through your job, you’ll need to find coverage on your own or you may face an annual penalty beginning in 2014.
The good news is that preventive care services, such as annual wellness visits, screenings, and vaccines, are covered under most plans. Plus, you can’t be turned down or charged more if you’re sick.
You can shop for individual and family coverage through the new government Marketplace. The Marketplace helps you compare plan premiums, provider networks, deductibles, and out-of-pocket costs for things like copayments, and prescriptions. When you choose a plan on the Marketplace, you’re purchasing it from a health insurer, like Humana. You can select from Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Platinum plans. Bronze plans will have the lowest annual premium, and the highest deductibles and copays. Platinum plans will have the highest upfront premiums, and lower deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses. There’s also a very high deductible plan option, for people age 30 and younger (there are some hardship exemptions for people older than 30 who qualify). It’s called a catastrophic plan, and it offers lower premiums but high out-of-pocket costs until you meet the deductible.
Do you qualify for discounts?
When you shop for a plan through the Marketplace, you may be eligible for tax credits that help cut the cost of your annual premium. Part-time workers are generally more likely to qualify, based on income.
If your income is less than 400% of the Federal poverty line (around $46,000 for the average single person in the US in 2013), you may be able to get a credit that can be applied to premiums for all types of plans on the Marketplace except for catastrophic plans. Individuals with incomes between 100% and 250% of the Federal poverty line, or between around $11,500 and $28,800 in 2013, may also qualify for cost-sharing subsidies to pay for out-of-pocket expenses. You can find more information on your eligibility by visiting a marketplace directly, and may be able to get questions answered by your employer.
You can also shop for coverage directly from Humana or other healthcare coverage carriers. There is no tax credit available when you purchase directly from an insurer, but they may have additional options compared to what is available on the Marketplaces. In addition, this may allow you to purchase other coverage, including dental, vision, and life and disability policies, at the same time.
Have questions? Contact us
This information is only a high-level summary of certain provisions of the health care law. This information does NOT attempt to summarize all provisions of the health care reform law. This information is not and should NOT be used as legal or tax advice; it should not be used as a basis for decisions regarding how the health care reform law will affect you and/or your business. Should you have any questions on how the health care reform law (including the high level summary of certain provisions of health care reform) will affect you and/or your business, you should seek professional advice from attorneys or other advisors.
Insured by Humana Insurance Company, Humana Health Plan, Inc., Humana Health Insurance Company of Florida, Inc., or Humana Health Benefit Plan of Louisiana, Inc. or offered by Humana Medical Plan Inc., Humana Employers Health Plan of Georgia, Inc., or Humana Health Plan of Texas, Inc.
For Arizona residents: Insured by Humana Insurance Company. For Texas residents: Insured by Humana Insurance Company or offered by Humana Health Plan of Texas, Inc.
Our health benefit plans have exclusions and limitations and terms under which the coverage may be continued in force or discontinued. For costs and complete details of the coverage, call or write your Humana insurance agent or broker.