The American Rescue Plan has made plans considerably more affordable for independent workers.
Gig workers have traditionally faced health insurance expenses too high for many of them to be able to afford to keep them up, until the American Rescue Plan (ARP) changed the game for high-quality coverage in March.
Since ARP passed earlier this year, a growing number of independent workers have been enrolling.
Gig workers are using the Healthcare.gov marketplace to purchase their health insurance and are paying less for it than they ever have before. New benefits platform Stride data cited in a recent Forbes report showed that since April, there have been six times more gig workers enrolling in health plans compared to the same time of year in 2020. So far in 2021, there have been almost as many people signing up for coverage as was the case during the open enrollment period at the end of last year.
Since March, 60 percent of enrollments were in high-tier Marketplace plans (Silver, Gold and Platinum) among delivery and rideshare drivers. Comparatively, that figure was only 30 percent before ARP was implemented. The higher the tier, the higher the coverage, meaning these particular independent workers are enjoying notably higher coverage than they had before ARP.
At the same time, they are paying less for their coverage than they had been. Before ARP, the average delivery or rideshare driver’s premiums were about $171 per month. After March, the premiums fell to an average of about $80, less than half of what they’d previously been.
Most independent workers received health insurance subsidies to help reduce the cost of coverage.
Ninety-three percent of gig workers received subsidies for their premiums after March. Before ARP, 87 percent of independent workers had been receiving those subsidies.
Even more notable is that on the Stride platform, 37 percent of independent drivers are paying under $1 for their plans every month. That is almost double the number of gig workers with that job who had been paying that monthly amount before March.
In 2020, before the implementation of ARP, there were 9.1 million people enrolled in coverage through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) health insurance exchange. Since ARP, eligibility for subsidies eased substantially, and raised the amount of financial assistance available.