Post
Ashley PoynterFeb 133 min read

Taking the "hustle" out of side hustle (or full hustle) with portable benefits

Updated: Jun 24

Benefits are a big area of concern for freelancers. For many, it’s the main reason for staying with a full-time job rather than pursuing self-employment. One of the biggest issues is that most benefits are not portable. That is, benefits in the U.S. tend to be tied to employers rather than individuals. That means that loss of employment or change of employer spurs a change (or loss) in benefits, too.

Portable benefits, on the other hand, would mean that an individual could maintain benefits—without interruption—despite who or how they are employed. This reality greatly impacts how freelancers view work, health insurance, and overall financial health.

Freelancer perspectives

Fiverr, a freelancer marketplace site, did a survey not too long ago that showed that a big chunk of freelancers view health insurance as a pressing issue. In fact, 40% of freelancer respondents said so, with 41% of “side hustle” freelancers reporting that they maintain a full-time job because of the benefits it affords them.

In its survey, Fiverr asked over 1,200 freelancers questions on political issues they feel impacted by as well as unique challenges they face. Interestingly, freelancers and non-freelancers share a lot of the same concerns. Unfortunately, those commonalities are not so great in some cases. About one-third (34%) of freelancers reported that they feel their financial situation is getting worse, which is a match to how the overall adult population feels (according to a Harvard-Harris poll).

In terms of healthcare, freelancers:

  • Are more likely than non-freelancer counterparts to support the Affordable Care Act (ACA) (54 percent vs. 44 percent)
  • Are more likely to support for a single-payer healthcare system (59 percent vs. 48 percent)
  • Are more likely to support increased funding of healthcare for low-income individuals (75 percent vs. 58 percent)

How portable benefits help freelancers

Portable benefits are a hot-button issue right now because the gig economy is growing at a rapid pace, creating high demand for these types of benefits. As the gig economy continues to grow, we face potential social and economical problems if that workforce gets sick or injured or as it ages out of the workforce without any insurance or pension support.

The answer lies in portable benefits that are the same as those enjoyed by 9-to-5 employees (aka dental, medical, sick leave, retirement, etc.) but available to gig workers. Currently, rideshare drivers, independent artists, and other self-employed professionals lack many of these benefits which tend to be formalized through employment contracts.

How Decent is helping freelancers

Decent keyed in on the gig economy movement early. We saw the need for benefits that were readily available for freelancers, gig workers, and other self-employed individuals. We wanted to design plans that were tailor-made for this segment of the workforce so that they could enjoy the same benefits as their 9-to-5 counterparts. As a result, we created our Pathfinder bronze plan and our Trailblazer silver plan. Both offer some key benefits that are ideal for people that work for themselves:

  • Free primary care: see your doctor when you want, as often as you want ...for free
  • Open enrollment: enroll in one of our plans on your schedule, available 365 days a year
  • Affordable premiums: our rates run up to 50% below market, making them affordable for all

See for yourself. It’s easy to get started; just hop over to our website and get your free quote today.