The “gig economy,” which is characterized by freelance work and short-term employment contracts, is growing quickly in the US. In 2019, the share of gig workers was 16 percent, marking a 15 increase since 2010, according to ADP Research Institute. Almost one-third of these workers are over the age of 55. This shift away from traditional full-time employment and toward contracted work is expected to continue for the foreseeable future. However, the freedom of freelancing comes with something that is not as pleasant: potential added financial burdens.
Gig Workers and Benefits
Being on a company’s payroll often comes with perks like health insurance, paid vacation or sick days, 401(k) programs, and more. However, freelancers and 1099 contractors don’t have such benefits. Freelancers have to create their own retirement fund, save up on their own for tax time, and cover the cost of healthcare alone. This requires a very disciplined approach to financial matters on the part of freelancers, and it represents a potential source of concern, especially in the realm of handling healthcare costs.
Health Share Ministries May Help Ease the Burden of Medical Care Costs
Considering the rising cost of medical care, out-of-pocket expenses for healthcare can put a big dent in any freelancer’s budget.
While paying for medical insurance may be one way to offset these costs, traditional insurance policies can have their own sky-high price tags. According to statistics from eHealthInsurance.com, average health insurance premiums for individuals are $321 a month, and family premiums are $833 a month.
Further, the average individual deductible is $4,358, and the average family deductible is $7,983. That’s a lot of money to have to pay out to cover the cost of doctor visits and medical procedures. For many freelancers and consultants, traditional insurance plans are out of reach. However, at the same time, these freelancers may find that their monthly income makes it impossible to get any type of subsidy or government assistance to help cover the cost of healthcare.
Fortunately, there’s an alternative solution to this conundrum. If you are a freelancer in this situation, have you considered the benefits of participating in a health share program to give you affordable access to routine medical needs — and also emergency and hospitalization in the case of a major medical event?
A Christian health share program enables like-minded individuals of faith to share the cost of medical care among each other, thus providing financial relief to those in need and fulfilling the Christian commandment to show love to one another. Members of health share programs contribute a certain amount of money each month to the program (based on the program they choose) and eligible medical expenses (and prescription benefits with some programs) are shared by the membership. In this way, freelancers have a means to consistently manage medical expenses and help others in the community at the same time.
Get in touch with UHSM to discuss your needs and available options. We’ll find a program that’s right for you and your family. Click here to see how much you can save with a UHSM health share program.