by Phyllis Mufson

Have you day dreamed about getting a part-time job? Maybe you’re looking for income while you train for a new career or start a business. Perhaps, you want a way to cut back on the time and pressure of your current job. Or, you want an income cushion while you are retired.

However, for most people the idea remains a daydream because you (or your spouse) are too young to receive Medicare, and you can’t do without the health insurance benefits you receive through your employer.

You may assume that the only way you can afford health coverage is through full-time employment.

Full-Time Employment May Not Be Your Only Option

Several of my clients have successfully negotiated with their current employers, cutting their hours and keeping their benefits.

  • One man (who worked for the same firm for twenty-five years) was able to custom tailor his new position, keeping only the responsibilities he most enjoyed.
  • A year into retirement, another client found she was bored and took an interesting job with benefits from her prior employer. In addition to benefits, this job allowed her to work remotely, giving her more flexibility to travel and baby-sit for her grandchildren.

One of the silver linings in the current challenging outlook for full-time employment is that more employers are increasing the number of part-time workers they are hiring. In many cases health benefits are part of very attractive, full benefit packages.

Find Opportunities with Large Employers

The following are just a few of the national employers who hire part-time workers as a significant part of their staff, and offer health benefits:

  • Banks including J.P. Morgan Chase, PNC Bank, and SunTrust Bank. Also, many credit unions offer health benefits with part-time employment.
  • Groceries: Many national chains offer benefits, but some limit benefits to selected regions. Check the policies in your area. Whole Foods Market, Wegman’s, Safeway, Trader Joe’s, The Fresh Market and Publix.
  • Retail giants such as Lowes, IKEA, REI, Barnes & Nobles, Staples, Container Store, Bassett Furniture, Lands End, CostCo, and Home Depot.
  • Call center work-from-home jobs for firms such as Alpine Access, Apple At Home, Convergys Home Agent Program, and
  • Hospitals and local governments: Many offer benefits to their part-time staff.
  • Many other national firms including UPS, Delta Airlines, Fed-Ex Ground, Nike, Starbucks, Caribou Coffee, Kaplans, Aerotek, and U-Haul.

This is only a sample of the employers with opportunities available.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics March 2015 Report on Employee Benefits:

  • 24 percent of part-time workers had access to medical care benefits.
  • 39 percent to retirement benefits.
  • 42 percent to paid sick leave.

When you think about what part-time jobs might be available, realize that virtually any role that someone fills full-time can also be available part-time.

To find part-time positions listed in your community you can search using the terms “Part Time Benefits” on a job aggregator, a site that collects listings from other job boards like Another source is (first read Using Craigslist to Find a Job). Also check, a site that trawls employer websites for listings, many of which are not advertised elsewhere.

You will see many jobs advertised, but realize that part-time jobs are the same as full-time positions. The majority of jobs are never listed. Most jobs are filled through employee referral and you will find out about them by networking.

Check Out Smaller Employers, Too

If you work for a smaller employer, you are a lot less likely to be offered benefits for part-time work.

If your small employer doesn’t offer health benefits, you can still propose that your employer form a group for insurance purposes and offer the option to purchase medical and dental benefits through the group. This will allow you to save on the high cost of individual insurance, protect you from being excluded from insurance because of pre-existing conditions, and likely be more thorough coverage than you would receive on your own.

I once worked for a very small firm with only the owner of the business and three part-time workers. The owner was delighted when I suggested she form a group as she saved money on her own policy and thought offering benefits would make us more loyal. She was right and the group insurance was a win for all of us.

Bottom Line:

Be careful. Do your due diligence and confirm that health insurance is available before accepting a job. The result? A wonderful gift of more time for exploration will be yours as you transition into the next stage of your life.