You Can Take It With You: Health Insurance in the Digital Age
Entrepreneurship is the engine that drives the American economy. And the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has given it a boost.
Since the ACA was enacted, our nation’s businesses have added 14.1 million jobs over 70 straight months, the longest streak on record. Almost all of that growth has been in full-time jobs. And for a specific group of America’s workers, the law has been particularly helpful.
Almost one out of every three workers in the United States works for themselves. They’re accountants, veterinarians, lawyers, and even the Lyft driver who drives you home.
Some of them are working extra hours on top of a full-time job. Others are combining a number of freelancing jobs to make up a full week of work. Some work to make money while they’re in school or in between full-time jobs. Others enjoy the flexibility of building their work schedule around their family’s schedule. Altogether, researchers estimate that these workers contribute an estimated $715 billion to our nation’s economy every year.
Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, now they can do that work and worry less. Before the ACA, a father who wanted to strike out on his own as a self-employed worker often found that it was difficult to find affordable health insurance for him and his family. But with the opening of the Health Insurance Marketplace, he just has to visit HealthCare.gov to search through a wide variety of quality, affordable health plans. And now health plans can’t drop coverage because someone gets sick, or discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions.
That’s why companies like Lyft are reaching out to drivers to let them know that Open Enrollment on the Marketplace runs until the end of January. Coverage on the Marketplace helps drivers that don’t already have access to healthcare stay healthy and keep doing the work they want to do.
Together at HHS and Lyft, we want the millions of Americans working as freelance professionals to know three things about coverage on the Marketplace:
First, that financial help is available to make coverage more affordable. In fact, more than 80 percent qualified for tax credits, and the average credit was nearly $300 per month. And nearly 7 in 10 Marketplace customers are able to buy a plan for $75 or less a month in premiums after tax credits.
Second, improvements to HealthCare.gov have made it easier to sign up in a number of ways:
- After people apply on HealthCare.gov, they will immediately see the type of coverage they qualify for and how much financial help they can get.
- Returning customers will be able to easily find their current plan if it’s available again and compare it with other.
- People can now search plans by their preferred provider or health facility.
- And we’ve added a new Out of Pocket Cost estimator that can help people estimate the cost of their insurance based on their personal situation.
And third, there are people available to help, whether in person or over the phone at 1-800-318-2596. HHS’s call centers offer help in both English and Spanish. So if there are questions, people have a place to turn to get assistance.
Millions of Americans work hard every day as independent contractors, freelancers, artisans and entrepreneurs, powering our economy. And thanks to the Affordable Care Act, they can keep up their work with the peace of mind that coverage is there if they need it.
@HHSGov and @Lyft partner to make sure drivers & freelance professionals know to #GetCovered by January 31 → http://1.usa.gov/1PIl9LJ via @HHSgov
Demond’s #GetCovered Story: Getting Insured Just in Time