An increasing number of jobs in the economy are going the “gig” way, as companies move to contingent workforce programs engaging agency temps, on-call workers, contractors, part-time workers and freelancers as workers prefer the work-life balance often offered by gig work. According to the Freelancers Union study approximately 53 million Americans, or 34% of the workforce, are freelancing, which is 700,000 more than last year. Most of these jobs offer benefits such as health insurance.
Recently a colleague’s brother flew in from their native country, planning to have a wonderful time in America. Young and optimistic, he decided not to buy any health insurance for his trip. Toward the end of his visit, he suddenly developed a terrible infection. To treat it, he was forced to cut his visit short and fly back home, in excruciating pain. Lack of proper healthcare is a nightmare, for the patient as well as their family, and planning is never more important than when obtaining health insurance.
According to estimates, 35% of gig workers are uninsured, against 10.5% of all Americans who obtain insurance for themselves. And 55% of these uninsured are looking to obtain health insurance as soon as possible. Take a dispassionate look at the options workers in the gig economy have for ensuring that their health is insured.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has made it possible for Americans who don’t have a traditional job get health insurance.
Since the introduction of the ACA, plan prices have been going up, making it harder for gig workers to obtain health insurance. The nightmarish scenarios which can affect the uninsured are many including:
There’s also the concern about the changed political environment, which sees opponents to the Affordable Care Act promising to eliminate the ACA, leaving the 11 million people who obtained health insurance (and peace of mind) under the law, unprotected.
What’s your take on the gig life and health care coverage? Has it affected you negatively or positively? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.
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