Health insurance is a must in today’s world, with the cost of healthcare out-of-pocket simply unaffordable for most people. That is why jobs with good health benefits are so sought after.
But what happens if you are an Uber driver? Will you have access to health insurance? As an independent contractor (or what is known as a ‘gig economy worker’) rather than an employee, you are not guaranteed health insurance benefits from the company.
This puts you under serious financial strain if you need medical assistance or surgery. But there are still some affordable health insurance options for Uber drivers. In this guide, you’ll learn more about them, as well as other Uber-specific insurance options.
What Are The Health Insurance Options For Uber Drivers?
Uber drivers can’t rely on the company they are contracted to provide them with health insurance coverage. So what are the health insurance options for Uber drivers?
Let’s take a closer look at the top five health insurance options or alternatives for Uber drivers.
A Spouse Or Parent’s Healthcare Plan
If you’re an Uber driver with no health insurance plan, you might not have to sign up for your own insurance policy. That’s because you may be eligible for coverage under your spouse’s or parent’s (if you are under the age of 26) ACA or employer-sponsored health plan.
If you are married, about to be married, or under the age of 26, this is probably the best solution for you – especially if your spouse or parent qualifies for a more affordable health plan. Of course, this only works out if the terms of the policy meet the healthcare needs of all concerned.
But don’t worry if you don’t fall into this category. If you are unmarried, have no living parents, or are over the age of 26 then there are a variety of other options for health coverage and health insurance alternatives.
Employer-Sponsored Health Plan
Many Uber drivers have to take on other jobs too, and only do Uber driving part-time. If this sounds like you, an employer-sponsored health plan at your other job may be your best solution.
Your employer at your second/alternative job may offer you all the health benefits you need. But if you have just left traditional employment to start working as an Uber driver, don’t stress. There’s yet another health insurance option available to you.
Through the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act’s COBRA coverage, you may retain the coverage afforded to you by your previous employer’s health plan. This may continue for a specified period under federal law. This could last for up to 18 months but differs from one case to the next.
If you have left employment recently to start working as an independent contractor, this may be your best bet until you sort out other health insurance. If this is not an option for you, let’s look at the next best option – signing up for a health plan on the Affordable Care Act Marketplace.
Affordable Health Plan On The ACA Marketplace
The Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as Obamacare, ensures affordable healthcare for all. There is, however, an enrollment period that you’ll have to sign up in. If you have missed the cut-off, you may have to investigate short-term healthcare solutions in the meantime until the next enrollment period.
There are many different health plans on the Healthcare.gov marketplace, with different health insurance companies offering a variety of health coverage types. Your own health and lifestyle will dictate which of these is more suitable for you. This is where we can help.
At Enhancehealth.com, we have a team of experienced advisors in the field of affordable health insurance plans. We can help you cut through all the confusing words and terms and find the plan that you need at a price you can afford.
The Catastrophic Health Plan Solution
One of the ways to deal with a medical catastrophe when you don’t yet have health insurance is with a catastrophic health plan. You’ll have to meet certain criteria, though.
You must be under 30 years of age, or if not, you must qualify for an exemption due to hardship and affordability issues. The premiums may be lower than the average health plan, but the deductibles will be far higher.
This is not a popular solution to the problem of no health insurance, though. In times of crisis, this could put you under serious financial strain. Very few Uber drivers would find this affordable or reassuring.
Medical Expenses Sharing Plan
A medical expense-sharing plan is another option open to Uber drivers who don’t have health insurance coverage. Some of these are ministry-based, such as Medi-Share. They have their own rules and regulations and don’t count as health insurance under the law.
Many people rely on them to deal with unexpectedly high medical bills. However, these systems of medical cost-sharing don’t cover all types of medical procedures. They also don’t cover routine check-ups and preventive health measures.
Therefore, they are not a comprehensive solution for Uber drivers without insurance. While medical expense-sharing plans can help you to deal with medical bills, they are not true health insurance.
What Is The Uber Pro Health Insurance Initiative?
Uber has recently begun addressing the concern of their drivers’ healthcare needs with the Uber Pro Healthcare initiative.
Aligned with the U S Department of Health and Human Services, Uber wants to encourage all their drivers to get health insurance. And this led to a partnership with Stride Health, a partner of Healthcare.gov specifically for independent contractors like Uber drivers.
This system of health plan advice and help with enrollment in a plan is available to Uber Pro drivers who meet certain criteria. Uber Pro is the company’s internal rewards system. All Uber drivers are automatically enrolled in this system.
However, if you are new to Uber and have not yet met all the requirements on the Uber Pro rewards system, then give us a call for help with finding the best health plan for you.
Uber’s Auto Insurance For Drivers
As an Uber driver, you will be guaranteed auto insurance only. If you already have an auto insurance policy, the company will require that it meets the state’s minimum coverage criteria.
Uber’s insurance for their drivers will cover you if you’re involved in an automobile accident. But any other workplace injury wouldn’t be covered.
If your own insurance does not apply, Uber’s auto insurance can provide third-party liability insurance, while waiting for a ride request This allows for up to:
- $100,000 in bodily injury per accident
- $25,000 in property damage per accident
- $50,000 in bodily injury per person
They also provide accident coverage for drivers en route to a pick-up or transporting an Uber passenger. This allows up to:
- Up to the cash value of the vehicle with a $2,500 deductible
- Up to $1,000,000 third-party liability – including riders, pedestrians, and other motorists
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury
- First-party injury insurance
- Contingent comprehensive and collision
It’s more than likely that a workplace injury for an Uber driver would be an auto accident. So it’s good to know that there is some form of cover in place. But it doesn’t address the needs for general healthcare, and medical emergencies that are non-accident related.
Uber Health Insurance Options Frequently Asked Questions
Must an Uber driver have health insurance?
All US citizens should have health insurance. Although the federal-level mandate and penalty have been repealed, some states still have individual mandates and penalties for not having health insurance.
This is meant to encourage all people to take responsibility for their health and well-being with a health plan.
Why do Uber drivers not receive employer-sponsored health benefits?
Uber drivers are not strictly ‘employees’, but rather independent contractors. This is also known as a 1099 employee as opposed to a traditional W2 employee.
That means that Uber is not required by law to provide health insurance and other benefits that traditional employees receive.
Can Uber drivers qualify for Obamacare?
Yes, you can qualify for Obamacare if you are an Uber driver. But as Obamacare has some affordability criteria, such as low-income brackets, you’ll have to meet these requirements to benefit from it.
If you are already covered by a plan under Obamacare when starting work as an Uber driver, you may continue on that plan.
Uber drivers are not guaranteed health benefits from the company they are contracted to. But that doesn’t mean that you have to roll the dice and hope you never get ill. Everyone should have access to good healthcare and affordable health insurance policies.
That is why, at Enhancehealth.com, we make it our mission to help you get the health insurance coverage you need. Rather make the responsible choice and contact us for help with finding affordable health insurance. No matter your employment status or income, we can find the right plan for you.