Q. I have insurance through my husband’s employer, so I don’t need my employer’s coverage. But my company said I have to work fewer than 30 hours a week so that I’m not considered full time. Can I just waive my employer’s coverage if they let me work full time?
A: Yes. In order to avoid the ACA’s employer shared responsibility penalty, large employers must offer full-time (30+ hours/week) employees coverage that is affordable and provides at least minimum value. (For businesses with 50 to 99 employees, the requirement was delayed until 2016.)
As long as your employer offers such coverage, they’re not subject to the employer mandate penalty, even if you waive the coverage offer.
The individual shared responsibility provision requires you to maintain coverage, but as long as you remain covered by your husband’s policy, you’re complying with the requirement and won’t be subject to any penalty.
If you work full time and become eligible for your employer’s coverage, you can waive it and keep your existing coverage, and nobody gets penalized. Be aware however, that some companies have started charging more to cover employees’ spouses who have access to their own employer-sponsored plans. So double check the details with your employer and your husband’s.
Ultimately, it’s up to your employer. They can let you work full time and you can waive their offer of coverage. But by increasing your hours to 30 or more, your employer is taking on the responsibility and potential cost of offering you affordable minimum value coverage. Not all employers want to do that, since they can’t know for certain that you’ll continue to opt for coverage under your husband’s plan.