CMS Encourages Companies to Promote Quality, Affordable Health Coverage for Gig Workers
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is encouraging online platform companies to share information with gig workers on their ability to enroll in affordable, quality, health coverage during the 2021 Marketplace Special Enrollment Period (SEP). Digital platforms – including Delivery Drivers, Inc., DoorDash, Lyft, Postmates, StyleSeat, Uber, and Wonolo – are participating in “Gig Workers’ Week of Action” to promote Marketplace healthcare plans to their workforces.
Workers in the U.S., including those working with gig companies following COVID-19 related unemployment, may now be eligible for reduced premiums and increased savings for health insurance coverage on HealthCare.gov.
Under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP), most consumers are able to take advantage of reduced monthly premiums through increased tax credit help. For new consumers selecting plans during the SEP, the average monthly premium after tax credits fell over 25%, from $117 for those enrolling in February and March to $86 for those enrolling in the month of April. The ARP also helped to lower out-of-pocket costs for new consumers by making more generous plans more affordable after the ARP’s enhanced tax credits. The median deductible for new consumers during the SEP fell by nearly 90%, from $450 to $50.
“As millions of Americans have relied on gig economy work to sustain their incomes and support their families during the pandemic, we want these hardworking men and women to know they can purchase quality, affordable health coverage through HealthCare.gov,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “And thanks to the American Rescue Plan, these gig workers may be eligible for increased financial help to reduce the cost of their monthly premiums, making the health insurance plans on the Marketplace more affordable than ever before. I encourage everyone to go to Healthcare.gov to see if they are eligible for lower costs coverage today."
Large online platforms participating in this Gig Workers Week of Action pledged to provide their workforces with information on affordable coverage. Activities include informing drivers and couriers about the Week of Action to help create awareness about availability of coverage through the Marketplace, hosting a blog, sharing stories of how drivers have benefited from Marketplace coverage, and providing communications in English and Spanish to reach a broader audience.
Additionally, many online platform economy companies have coordinated with CMS-approved direct enrollment partners to incorporate access to health insurance coverage into their workers’ smart phone apps. These apps allow gig economy workers direct interaction with the Marketplace to enroll in coverage and receive financial assistance where applicable.
Now through August 15, 2021, consumers who want to enroll in coverage, compare plan offerings, or learn if they qualify for more affordable premiums can check their coverage options directly through their company’s app, or by visiting HealthCare.gov or CuidadoDeSalud.gov. Consumers can view 2021 plans and prices and submit an application to see if they are eligible for enrollment and for financial assistance. If eligible, they can enroll in a plan that best meets their needs. Current enrollees should review their application, make any changes needed to their current information, submit their application, and then select a new plan, or reselect their current plan, to receive the increased savings under the American Rescue Plan.
Consumers can also call the Marketplace Call Center at 1-800-318-2596, which provides assistance in over 150 languages. TTY users should call 1-855-889-4325. Consumers can also find a local assister or agent/broker in their area: https://www.healthcare.gov/find-assistance/.
Consumers who live in a state with a Marketplace that operates its own platform should visit their state Marketplace website or call center for more information about when these additional savings will be available through their State-based Marketplace.
For more information about the Health Insurance Marketplace®, visit: https://www.healthcare.gov/quick-guide/getting-marketplace-health-insurance/.
For more information about the American Rescue Plan and the Health Insurance Marketplace®, visit: https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/fact-sheets/american-rescue-plan-and-marketplace.
Health Insurance Marketplace® is a registered service mark of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.