In Louisiana, I am a full time 40 hour per week employee. I am thinking about working 4 days a week (32) hours. Working 32 hours, am I still eleigible to receive medical benefits?
There is no federal or state law that requires Louisiana employers to offer health insurance, so there are no regulations that cover it.
This is strictly a private matter between the employer and the employee. Many companies offer health insurance to workers who put in 30 hours per week or more. Others only offer health insurance for employees who work 35 or 40 hours per week.
The only way to know for sure, is to ask the supervisor, owner or HR person, “If I work 32 hours per week, would I still qualify for group insurance?” or “How many hours does an employee need to work, to qualify for health insurance?”
If the employer has 20 or more workers on the health insurance plan, this employee would probably qualify for health insurance coverage under COBRA, the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act.
COBRA allows an employee to keep his or her group health insurance coverage when they lose their job, or their hours are reduced, or they no longer qualify for insurance through the employer for another reason.
Under COBRA, the employee must pay any portion of the health insurance premium that was paid by the employer in the past. In addition, the employer may charge a fee of 2% as an administration fee. So, the employee ends up paying 102% of the health insurance premium.
In spite of these additional fees, COBRA usually offers better coverage at a lower price than private health insurance available to individuals.
The COBRA regulations specifically state that coverage is available to workers whose hours are reduced “voluntarily or involuntarily,” meaning that even if you choose to work less, you should be covered.
However, be aware that in most cases there is an 18-month maximum limit on coverage under COBRA.
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