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Waving Obamacare? Work more hours if spouse carries insurance?

I am a Firefighter.  I work Part time.  We also have full time firefighters working along side.  We have having a massive manning shortage and this is causing the full time guys to work a TON of overtime.  Its really starting to drain on them...and their families. This is also massively effecting the departments budget.  I as a Part time person am limited to approx 1500hrs a year because of the ACA.  I have full insurance though my wife.  So my question is.....If the fire department would allow me...can I work more hours and decline any insurance that they would offer?  I would be more than willing to do so.  Many of the firefighters are at their wits end....and I wanna help.


  • If your employer offers insurance, then you cannot get a premium tax credit, but you can still buy a policy from the Exchange - but this seems to be moot as you get coverage via your spouse.

    It seems that your employer has decided to not allow you and other part-timers to work more than 30 hours so as to not trigger the employer mandate, and is even paying overtime pay to full-timers to avoid it.  As your employer is the government, I think that you can understand how it trying to be careful with costs is a benefit to your fellow citizens.  Your employer must have a good reason to think that it should not hire more full-timers (I suspect it is the pension situation.)

    Now as for the question of whether the employer mandate is good policy, keep in mind that it was put in place to stop employers from just not offering coverage to their employers now that the ACA gives folks a way to get it as individuals; that last little point is something that the law's detractors seem to always forget.  The problem is that it has been forecast that employers for low-paid employees would more willing to drop coverage than those of higher-paid employees, thereby driving up the cost of the premium tax credit past the cost of the tax deduction that employers get for offering coverage, hence the reason for the employer mandate.  The party that is anti-ACA (you know who I'm talking about) should stop acting like crybaby children and work to make the ACA better, including dropping the employer mandate (but coming up with the funding to pay for the higher cost) as well as other quirks.
  • Are you asking if you can waive an employer plan or a market place plan? You can waive the employer plan and the insurance that covers you at your wife's work will allow you to avoid the tax penalty as you are covered. The problem is that the department has to offer it to you if your hours go over 30 for any length of time even if you keep the part time status. And they can't just offer it to you knowing that you will waive it. It has to be offer to anyone that goes over the hours worked requirement. You should check with the HR Department and get the exact hours that you can work in a given year though. They would know for sure what you can and can not do before they end up in trouble by not offering it to you.

  • Posts: 70
    There is a lot to go into decisions like this, and I know that I have been busy doing some math and trying to figure out what my best options are.  I guess it is nice having some options, but it is still frustrating trying to get answers and going through the whole process.  It really varies with the employer plan, and I know that the latest one I was offered was garbage, so I went the other route, which I kind of regret now.
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