Uber is the most valuable private startup in the world. In its most recent round of fundraising, the car-booking company was valued at $62.5 billion. Much of Uber’s success is predicated on the thousands of drivers it partners with all over the world. A recent analysis pegged the total number of active drivers to be over 162,000.
These Uber drivers are not actual employees of Uber. Every one of them are considered to be independent contractors.. These 1099 workers are not given benefits like a standard employee. Instead, they are left to cover their own expenses and get medical insurance on their own.
If you’re thinking about becoming an Uber driver (full-time or part-time), but worried about where you’ll get your health insurance, you have options. Let’s take a look at what those options are.
Uber Loves Obamacare
While Uber doesn’t directly offer health insurance to its thousands of drivers, they do understand the importance of health insurance to their independent contractors. That’s why Uber is such a big fan of Obamacare.
In a Washington Post article, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick was quoted as saying Obamacare was “huge” for his business. He went on to say, “The democratization of those types of benefits allow people to have more flexible ways to make a living.”
In other words, people don’t have to rely on their employer for healthcare coverage anymore. They can work for companies like Uber on a part-time basis, and free to pursue their dreams.
Where Can Uber Drivers Get Health Insurance?
If you are already a 1099 employee (whether it’s for Uber or another company), then you might already have health insurance through Obamacare. You would continue to use this insurance when you start to drive for Uber.
If you’re making the transition from a full-time employee with benefits to an independent contractor, then you have two options. The first option is to see if you’re eligible for COBRA continuation coverage. COBRA is a federal law that states employees can stay on employee health insurance plans for a period of time after they leave the company. Coverage varies, but it could be as long as 18 months.
Your other option is to get health insurance through the government marketplace. While the open enrollment period is a limited amount of time, there is a Special Enrollment Period (SEP). If you were to lose your job, you would qualify for the SEP and be able to get health insurance through Obamacare.
Resources for Additional Help
All of this might be too much to comprehend on your own. Choosing health insurance can be a confusing decision, especially when you have been used to being on an employer health insurance plan. If you do need more specialized attention, there are plenty of companies, like 1800Health.com, to walk you through the process.
By contacting us, we will be able to connect you with a health insurance agent in your neighborhood. You’ll then be able to ask all the questions you need and see plans based on your needs.
Health insurance isn’t something you should roll the dice with. Not only is it law to have coverage, but it’s in your best interest. Unexpected and expensive medical bills can cause undue stress. If you want to drive for Uber, you won’t have to do it without health insurance.