March 17, 2017

The former Henryton State Hospital. Credit: Foresaken Fotos / Flickr Creative Commons

Odds are, you’ve taken part in the gig economy. By ordering an Uber ride, using Taskrabbit to deliver your groceries, or buying a custom bookshelf off Etsy, you’ve tapped into one of the fastest-growing tech sectors.

Wih the Affordable Care Act in peril, many of the people who drive for Uber or deliver for Taskrabbit might have a harder time getting health insurance… which could mean big problems for the gig economy.

Three Takeaways:

  • If you’re an independent worker, none of the gig economy companies, including Uber, will offer you health insurance. So if you want it, that means - for most people - going online and signing up for the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
  • Before the ACA, “It was very difficult to get health insurance if you were a freelancer, a musician, or a consultant, ” says Melinda Buntin, chair at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine’s Department of Health Policy. Back in the early 2000s, “People started to worry that our economy needed more flexibility in order to respond to the demands of the tech industry and rising gig economy.... It could be brought to a halt if people got worried that they couldn’t get health insurance and stuck to their more traditional jobs.”
  • The Republicans’ replacement for the ACA could change things, drastically, for gig economy workers. People in their 50s and 60s are likely to see costs skyrocket. Same for those who rely on Medicaid, or young people who get more than $170 in health care subsidies every month. But if you don’t fall into any of those categories and you make less than 75k, odds are, you’ll save money.

More Reading:

Kara Miller, Business, Affordable Care Act, Caroline Lester, Uber

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