Leaders in Tech Assemble to Drive Healthcare Enrollment for Over 3.5 Million Independent Workers

Coalition Led By Fiverr, Care.com, DoorDash, Etsy, Postmates, and Others, Working with Stride Health, Pledge to Reach Their Communities of Freelancers, Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses — Many of Whose Members Depend on the ACA for Coverage

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Oct. 31, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today, a group of leading tech companies who are reshaping the modern economy are announcing their participation in Tech United for Independent Access to Healthcare, a coordinated effort to reach as many people as possible with the most recent, pertinent and up-to-date information regarding the 2017 Open Enrollment period for state healthcare exchanges, created under the Affordable Care Act.

With changes to this year’s Open Enrollment period, many who purchase coverage through the exchanges — or who may seek to — are confused about the timing of Open Enrollment, what healthcare options might be available to them, and at what cost.  The Coalition will disseminate community-targeted, fact-based information and reminders on healthcare Open Enrollment via various communications channels.  This includes using:

  • Outreach to our communities via proprietary email systems, in-app notifications, and other embedded messaging or notification systems
  • Existing blogs, newsletters and other scheduled outreach as vehicles for specific information (enrollment deadlines, etc.) about healthcare Open Enrollment
  • Social media channels to disseminate key stats, facts and links throughout the period of Open Enrollment
  • In-person, grassroots community events with partners across the country to provide assistance and guidance

“The Fiverr community is home to millions of entrepreneurs and freelancers working to build and grow their businesses,” said Brent Messenger, Global Head of Community at Fiverr. “We recognize the role that accessible healthcare coverage has had in allowing many to pursue their passions and create economic opportunities. We want to make sure to provide them with accurate and reliable information when it comes to knowing what their options are around healthcare coverage.”

The majority of Tech United coalition members have partnered with Stride Health to help their communities gain streamlined access to personalized guidance, help with picking the right plan, and enrolling in health coverage with tax credits.  Stride partners with marketplaces and labor platforms to make it simple for independent workers to find and enroll in the right health coverage and manage care for them and their families throughout the year.  Since its founding in 2013, Stride has been on a mission to empower anyone to work for themselves, without having to go it alone. By unlocking benefits traditionally offered by employers, Stride levels the playing field for the self-employed. According to research conducted by Stride, independent workers are three times more likely than traditional workers to go uninsured.

“Since launching Care.com Benefits with Stride Health in 2016, caregivers on our platform have not only been able to easily access healthcare that fits their needs but have also recognized significant savings in their coverage.  We are committed to ensuring that the caregiving workforce has accurate information about and access to the same benefits as other professionals,” said Bryan O’Malley, Vice President, Care.com.

"DoorDash is proud to help spread the word about Open Enrollment to the more than 100,000 Dashers who use the DoorDash platform to earn money for the things that matter to them,” said Keith Yandell, General Counsel and Chief Strategy Officer at DoorDash. “DoorDash was built on the idea of empowering people to achieve their financial goals, and accessing high-quality, affordable health insurance is one important step to help achieve that mission. We encourage Dashers, customers, restaurant partners, and anyone else who wants to #getcovered to visit Stride Health and learn more about affordable health insurance plans in their state.”

"Etsy sellers are sole proprietors and microbusinesses who need access to affordable health insurance," said Althea Erickson, Global Head of Advocacy and Public Policy at Etsy. "Open Enrollment offers our sellers the opportunity to access health insurance and critical subsidies outside traditional employment, which is increasingly important for the millions of people working independently in the United States today. That's why we we're helping our sellers connect with the information they need to find and enroll in affordable coverage."

“The power of Postmates — to connect our neighbors with local merchants in communities across the country — is made possible by the flexibility our network of independent contractors exercise at every point in the delivery experience,” said Vikrum Aiyer, Head of Public Policy at Postmates. “By empowering our Postmates with the autonomy to control how and when they use our app, we enable everyone from students to parents to supplement income between college classes, or earn a little extra in between driving to soccer practices. We recognize, that during this period of healthcare Open Enrollment, it can be challenging for our busy Postmates to locate consistent, clear, and reliable information about accessing care and coverage. Resources to help navigate the marketplaces and take the guesswork out of understanding healthcare options is not just about enabling someone to identify a policy that protects their families when sick — it’s about looking out for one another and our communities through basic education.”

A JP Morgan Chase Institute study from February of last year showed that the number of workers who earn income in the online platform economy increased 47 times in a three-year period.  In 2014, 24.9 million individuals filed tax returns indicating that they were the owners of a sole proprietorship, with 16.8 million of them turning a profit.  This represented a 34 percent increase in self-employment since 2001.  It is estimated that 15 percent of those independent workers earned at least some of their income via a digital platform.  Additionally, in 2014 — the first year the Affordable Care Act went into effect — 1.4 million people (1 in 5) purchasing coverage through the newly established marketplace were considered a small-business, self-employed, or both.  Furthermore, between 2014 and 2015, the number of people signing up for coverage through the Affordable Care Act increased by 50 percent, continued to grow in 2016, and is expected to grow again this year. 

By all measures, independent healthcare access has unlocked economic potential.  Per a recent McKinsey Global Institute study, most people who work independently do so by choice rather by necessity, and 1 in 6 people currently working in a traditional setting would prefer to become primary independent earners.  By some estimates, independent workers are expected to comprise over 40 percent of the economy by 2020.

Contact: Arielle Goren
(212) 717-5863