Freelancers Embrace Healthcare Ruling, However Tentatively

By Andrew Bell June 29th, 2012

Raisa Zaidi contributed to this story.

Many freelance journalists writing about the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Affordable Health Care Act were not just wondering how to report the Justice’s ruling, but more importantly what the verdict means for them.

Since most freelance journalists are not afforded the medical benefits that those working in the industry are provided with, this act may just be the start to providing the safety net that freelance journalists deserve.

According to Founder and Executive Director of the Freelancers Union Sara Horowitz, “Today’s ruling is a green light for healthcare innovation and a huge boost to the new workforce.”

So what does this mean for you, the freelancer? What you make freelancing will determine how much you benefit from this act. Where you fall along the poverty line will decide whether you are covered by Medicaid or receive some sort of subsidy. The freelancers who are financially stable may benefit from the independent insurance companies that might sprout up as a result of the increasing demand for affordable insurance that private insurance companies don’t currently offer.

“With even more health insurance options empowering independent workers, entrepreneurial solutions like non-profit CO-OPs and social purpose insurers will flourish,” Horowitz said. The Freelancers Union site says they aim to “ sponsor non-profit, consumer-driven health insurance CO-OP’s in New York, New Jersey and Oregon.”

For freelance journalists entering the workforce, the ruling may assuage their fears about taking on a career with such high risk. But some freelance journalists may be indifferent. Jason Slotkin, 25, just graduated from Columbia Journalism School and is entering the freelance market. He believes that even with insurance, you are still vulnerable to the out of pocket services for some medical services. According to Slotkin, “the cost of care in general, more than the Act” would drive him away from freelancing for a living.

Doubt still lingers as to how much of an impact the act will have. It won’t officially go into effect until 2014 – and that’s if it even does. “The outcome of the election in November 2012 becomes the critical factor in determining the future of the ACA,” Dennis Gallagher, professor of healthcare policy at Drexel University School of Public Health said.

(Image by PilotGirl via Flickr, CC2.0)

Correction: Jason Slotkin is 25-years-old. His age was reported incorrectly in a previous version of this story.

Tags: , ,