Many Part-Timers Do Not Select Health Benefits

February 4, 2013 ( Part-time workers eligible for health care benefits at large companies in the U.S. elect coverage at a significantly lower rate than full-time employees.

According to the 2012 Study of Large Employer Health Benefits from the ADP Research Institute, 88% of the full-time work force surveyed is eligible for benefits, and 77% of the eligible full-time employees actually selected health coverage. The result is that 67% of the total full-time workforce is covered by their employer’s health plan.  

By contrast, only 15% of part-time employees are eligible for health coverage, and slightly more than half (53%) chose to participate. As a result, part-time employees represent less than 5% of the total population participating in their employer’s health coverage.   

The average employer within the ADP Benefits Study contributed roughly $7,236 per annum in health premiums for each employee who enrolled in the employer’s group health plans for benefit year 2012. The 2012 Study of Large Employer Health Benefits from ADP 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. The benefits of these lower premium costs are shared equally by employer and employee.  

The study was based on real-world data for approximately one million employees and more than two million covered lives. A free copy of the study report can be requested from