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Nearly 1 in 4 gig workers lacks health insurance, survey finds

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Dive Brief:

  • Almost a quarter of gig workers in a new survey say they do not have health insurance. Among those uninsured workers, nearly six in 10 said lack of affordability is the main reason they decided not to enroll in a health plan this year.
  • Gig workers who identify as Hispanic or Latino are more likely to be uninsured (31%), compared to those who identify as Black or African American (24%), or White (22%).
  • The survey of more than 4,000 gig workers, from insurance broker Stride Health, also found that almost half of those with coverage did not pay a premium for their plans this year. Given last year’s increase in Affordable Care Act marketplace subsidies. The findings point to an education gap among gig workers who think health insurance is unaffordable, according to Stride.

Dive Insight:

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 increased premium tax credits for marketplace health insurance and expanded eligibility to more individuals, helping drive the uninsured rate in the U.S. to a historic low of 8%.

Through passage of the Inflation Reduction Act in August, subsidies for those who purchased plans through marketplaces were extended through 2025.

Of the record 14.5 million people now enrolled in marketplace plans, 13 million are receiving subsidies of varying amounts to reduce what they pay in premiums, Stride said.

The insurance broker for companies including Uber, DoorDash, Instacart, Amazon, GrubHub and Etsy said more than 50 million independent and gig workers do not have coverage through an employer-sponsored plan.

But more are shopping for coverage, Stride said. In 2022, 88% of gig workers indicated they would re-enroll in a new plan or keep their current healthcare coverage, up from 64% in 2020. Only 12% said that they plan to go uninsured in 2023.

“With roughly half of those insured in that workforce paying $0 for that coverage, it’s critical for every independent worker to evaluate their eligibility for tax credits, compare or change plans, and get covered for 2023,” said Noah Lang, CEO and co-founder of Stride.

Founded in 2013, San Francisco-based Stride is backed by $96 million in capital from Venrock, New Enterprise Associates, Fidelity’s F-Prime Capital Partners, Mastercard, Allstate and King River.