According to a research by ADP Research Institute, only 15% of the 23% part time workers are eligible for health coverage. The part timers will be less likely to benefit as compared to full time employees.
The study reveals that in 2012, only 53% of the eligible part time employees opted for health cover offered by employers as against 77% of full time employees. This study is based on employee data from 300 U.S based organizations.
Advertisement"I was more surprised by the low percentage of workers who were eligible for health insurance than that only half of them participated," said Andrew Weber, president and CEO of the National Business Coalition of Health.
This is expected to change when the Affordable Care Act begins in 2014, companies will be expected to provide health cover for employees working more than 30 hours per week, even if they are part-timers.
The employers do understand this but have to decide whether to rework the schedule of part time workers, by keeping it below the 30 hours of work or they rework their budget to accommodate higher benefits.
The study also shows that employer size correlates with premiums paid, irrespective of the employee's contribution. Employers with large workforces of more than 5000 employees pay approximately 14% less than employers with lesser number of employees.
The main point now being is - what percentage of the newly eligible employees will take part in benefit programs? Even a few percentage points can make a colossal difference on the costing to a company.
Hannah Punitha (IRDA Licence Number: 2710062)
Sarah Fisher Gale