Part-timers and contractors go without medical, dental, or life insurance

There are lots of benefits to working for yourself, like staying in your pajamas all day. But one benefit you don’t get? Health care.

One in four Americans are part-time workers or independent contractors, yet don’t have the same benefits — like health insurance or a retirement plan — their traditional-working peers do, Guardian Life Insurance says. While many workers like the idea of being their own boss, they may not like the lack of benefits — which are just as beneficial as a paycheck.

Basically: the less work you do in an office, Monday through Friday, 40 hours a week, the less your employer thinks you matter. Regardless of if you are full-time but work as an independent contractor outside of the office or if you do work in the office but are part-time, your company (or client!) doesn’t believe you should be treated the same as other traditional employees. This dated workplace enforcement hurts a lot of people.

“More Americans are seeking greater autonomy and flexibility in their career than they can find in the traditional nine-to-five model,” says Peggy Maher, Guardian’s senior VP. “While pursuing a passion and achieving greater work-life balance are indeed major advantages of alternative work arrangements, the lack of important insurance and retirement benefits can negatively impact financial security for themselves and their families. For those part-timers without access to workplace benefits, the good news is that these products are increasingly available through a variety of channels.”

Guardian’s study found that one-third of part-timers have an employer-sponsored retirement plan and 25 percent have an employer-sponsored medical plan. Worse, less than 20 percent of part-time workers have other insurance benefits, like dental, disability, and life. Most full-timers get access to all of these.

Part-timers and other nontraditional workers may have a dream work schedule, but they are getting royally rolled over when it comes to benefits aside from their daily schedule. The study says the flexible work schedule or contractor setup gives these workers a “false sense of security” — without extra benefits like health insurance or a retirement plan, these employees are losing out right now on major financial savings.

Working nonstop won’t stop

Right now, Guardian says 40 million people have this nontraditional work lifestyle, and it’s only going to go up.

But just because workers have flexible work hours doesn’t mean they ever stop working. In fact, employees of all kinds — full-time, part-time, and contracting — work when they shouldn’t be.

Every year, employees work during federal holidays and don’t take all the vacation time off that they should. Workers, especially young people, believe their managers will frown upon them taking time off. They want to continue to move up in the company to earn more money because they are constantly worried about their finances. Therefore, they will never stop working.

Nonstop workdays aren’t good for employees at any level. Most employees admit they’re burnt out at work and won’t take their vacation days, which just continues the cycle of stress, anxiety, and financial worry. If these employees had access to more workplace benefits, they’d be rested, productive, and financially secure.

Meet the Author

Dori Zinn

Dori Zinn


Zinn is a freelance journalist based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Career and Business, Retirement

benefits, employment, health, income, insurance, productivity, self-employment, small business, time management

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Article last modified on August 11, 2017 Published by, LLC . Mobile users may also access the AMP Version: Nontraditional Employees Don't Have Benefits - AMP.