Entrepreneurs and solopreneurs spend most of their time taking care of their businesses—but what about their own physical well-being? Narrowing down healthcare options can be overwhelming, and with the recent changes to Open Enrollment procedure, there’s even more confusion this year than usual. Whether they’ve purchased coverage or are considering it, it’s no surprise that many doers are confused about the timing of Open Enrollment, the cost of healthcare, and their available insurance options.
When it comes to the millions of freelancers in our community, we want provide them with most reliable information about their health insurance. That’s why we’re teaming up with Care.com, DoorDash, Etsy, Postmates, and Stride Health to create Tech United for Independent Access to Healthcare, a coordinated effort containing the most relevant information regarding the 2017 Open Enrollment period for freelancers, entrepreneurs, and small businesses.
Our coalition will share community-centric information and Open Enrollment updates via email, various social media channels, in-app messaging tools, and in-person events around the U.S. We’ll provide updates and resources throughout November, December, and the beginning of January so all your questions will be answered and you won’t miss any important deadlines. This year, we’re also partnering with Stride, a technology company that helps independent workers simplify the overall process of selecting the right healthcare coverage for themselves and their families. Using Stride, Fiverr buyers and sellers can get signed up for care in just 10 minutes.
The need for this kind of resource increases every day. A JP Morgan Chase Institute study from February of last year showed that the number of workers who earn income in the online platform economy increased 47 times in a three-year period. In 2014, 24.9 million individuals filed tax returns indicating that they were the owners of a sole proprietorship, with 16.8 million of them turning a profit.
This represented a 34 percent increase in self-employment since 2001. It is estimated that 15 percent of those independent workers earned at least some of their income via a digital platform. Additionally, in 2014 — the first year the Affordable Care Act went into effect — 1.4 million people (1 in 5) purchasing coverage through the newly established marketplace were considered a small-business, self-employed, or both.
Between 2014 and 2015, the number of people signing up for coverage through the Affordable Care Act increased by 50 percent, continued to grow in 2016, and is expected to grow again this year. Yet, according to research conducted by Stride, independent workers are three times more likely than traditional workers to go uninsured.
By all measures, independent healthcare access has unlocked economic potential as well. Per a recent McKinsey Global Institute study, most people who work independently do so by choice rather than necessity, and 1 in 6 people currently working in a traditional setting would prefer to become primary independent earners.
By some estimates, independent workers are expected to comprise over 40 percent of the economy by 2020—so freelancers and solopreneurs, you are not alone! We can’t shape the future of work without first caring for our community members. Although we cannot change the policies in place, we hope to empower all the doers in the Fiverr family with the information they need to make the best decisions for their businesses and themselves.
Have questions about Open Enrollment, the Tech United for Independent Access to Healthcare coalition, or healthcare in general? Ask us in the comments below!