by Alyson Martin
The lowest wage earning city freelancers will likely find relief with their health insurance under the healthcare bill signed by President Barack Obama Tuesday, but the middle-class freelancers will still struggle.
The Freelancers Union has historically fought for affordable, quality healthcare for the city’s independent workers. The signing of the bill will provide a “basic safety net” for the city’s low-wage freelancers and those with episodic incomes, said Sara Horowitz, founder and director of the union.
“Congress took an important step towards that goal by extending coverage to 32 million uninsured Americans, and creating a framework of oversight and consumer protections that we believe will lead to better, affordable care,” Horowitz said.
The healthcare bill will probably give insurance for the first time to city freelancers earning wages below the $43,320 threshold for coverage. But, the middle-class freelancers, the ones making more than $43,321, coverage will still probably be quite a struggle, according to Horowitz. Under the current plan, freelancers in the middle wage-earning bracket won’t qualify for subsidies, and without an employer-sponsored health insurance, those workers will still struggle to find affordable health insurance. So, the most affordable health insurance will still be from large corporations who are able to use their size to get the lowest rates.
“That won’t change in the exchange, which is why freelancers should be allowed to group together – just like traditional employees- to obtain better, affordable coverage,” Horowitz said.