Starbucks Health Insurance & Part Time Employment Jobs With Benefits

I do not have health insurance. In fact, I have not had health insurance for exactly one year. (Yes, I did apply once, but in Colorado where I no longer live) Why? Because insurance companies would not let me buy it from them due to me having had skin cancer in the past. I did have insurance when I was married through my wife’s work, and I always had it through my previous employees, but now that I am self-employed and with a pre-existing condition, I go without health insurance. I have paid through the nose for small surgeries and usually visit health clinics for smaller issues, and will be applying for the new California pre-existing condition health plan (unless Republicans in Congress repeal it, which I hope for my sake and others they don’t) starting next month. But for the past 12 months, I have been without health insurance — not by choice, mind you — and it’s quite scary. Before I found out that a plan will be in place for people like me, I had been trying to come up with ways to get insurance, and one of those ways included finding a small part-time job that offers insurance.

One of the companies I hear mentioned most often by those looking for health insurance is Starbucks. Starbucks offers benefits for employees and dependents alike, including domestic partners of the same sex and unmarried heterosexual couples. Employees (or Partners, as Starbucks calls them) are eligible for these benefits as long as they are paid a for a minimum of 240 hours of work in each calendar quarter. That’s 80 hours a month, which is definitely a part-time job, and believe me I have considered it several times. Granted I would have been about 15 years older than their average employee is, but being without insurance is a little unnerving. Due to some circumstances and two moves, I never applied for a job there, but it is a good place to look if you are in need of insurance and a part-time job. Plus, I think you get some free coffee if I am not mistaken.

Starbucks is not alone in offering insurance to part-timers though. Barnes & Noble, UPS, Whole Foods, Target, Trader Joe’s, IKEA and REI are just a few other companies offering pretty decent benefit packages to part-time employees. (I would love to work at REI, personally) While the eligibility requirements are different for each, most companies require a minimum amount of hours each month and a waiting period before benefits go into effect. For self-employed people like myself who probably have some hours every week they could work at an extra job, the benefits could be quite valuable – especially if you either cannot afford private insurance or have a pre-existing condition.

So, this leads me to you guys; do you work at an extra part-time job just for the health insurance? If your main source of income doesn’t offer insurance in some form, how do you get it? Maybe some of your tips/ideas will help others get the insurance they need. Or do you go without? With over 40 million Americans without insurance, it wouldn’t surprise me if several readers have to go without due to a pre-existing condition or some other reason. Let us all know in the comments!

photo credit: D. Sharon Pruitt

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Comments (7)

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  1. David says:

    My Niece, who is 19, works at Starbucks part-time and has great benefits.

  2. Allan says:

    I am with you in hoping that the new health care law stays, mostly for people with pre-existing conditions, such as yourself.

    I myself am in pretty good health, and I was initially against the new law.

    But I’ve changed my mind. People who are not able to get health insurance because of pre-existing conditions should have an option, which the new law will provide.

    That is something to be thankful for.

  3. My BF does not have health insurance but has alelrgies and asthma plus family medical history. You have to win the lottery before you can afford to buy insurance. kind of sucks.

  4. Michelle says:

    I have exhausted COBRA after being laid off by my employer 19 months ago. I had no idea this was coming.

    I am 55 years old and have a pre-existing condition that is controlled and I am very healthy. My total medical expenses last year were only $2500.

    I have tried to get individual plans in Florida and have been denied. I can get a guaranteed issue plan but that will cost as much as a mortgage payment. HIPPA is even worse, that will cost me a mortgage and a car payment. Both have hugely high deductibles too.

    I don’t see any option available to me that won’t cause me totally financial destruction, therefore it seems going without is the only option available. That is very scary and will probably cause additional medical problems just by virtue of the stress of worrying about what MIGHT HAPPEN and how on earth I’m going to pay for it!

    Oh, I’m also self employed and have a three year old business that is growing little by little. But paying a $500 a month health insurance premium will kill it completely.

    I can see why we have stagnated as a country, we cannot afford to work for ourselves and be an entrepreneur. I’ll have to try to get a part time job too.

    I will certainly let you know if I find a solution. So far the only option available to me is to marry my boyfriend to get on his health insurance, at least it’s affordable.

    Is this really America?

  5. Patty says:

    Husband laid off after 35 years working for the same company. He’s 54 and hasn’t yet been able to find another full-time job. We were on government-subsidized COBRA for over a year (otherwise we couldn’t have afforded it). Then I managed to find a job with benefits just before COBRA cut off. Working there 6 months and now my manager has told me he’s cutting out my salary entirely and I’ll earn only commissions. No way I can ever sell enough ad space to pay $800/month for the lousy group insurance I get at my company.
    Husband has pre-existing conditions and so he’s uninsurable through private insurance. I’m applying at Starbucks. Wish me luck.

  6. Elisabeth says:

    Hi I was wondering if braces are included in the health insurance .

  7. Gabby says:

    My husband just opened his own business and if successful, I’d like to quit my job and help/expand his business. The only problem is health insurance. He has a chronic condition that we probably won’t be able to insure unless the new health care laws is preserved. I actually found this post because I was looking for companies that I could work for part-time and get health care benefits. I have to agree with others that it is pretty sad that health care is such a concern for people of even average income.