Though there are numerous intangible benefits associated with coworking and flexible workspaces, one exceptionally important, palpable benefit is missing…health insurance.
Typically provided through an employer, medical benefits are harder to come by for most entrepreneurs, freelancers, and independent contractors. Considering that annual healthcare costs have reached $10,348 per person, many in the self-employed set skip copping coverage altogether, often leading to unfavorable outcomes. Per research conducted by the Urban Institute, people without health insurance are less likely to seek timely medical care – or any care at all – leading to poor health and an increased financial burden when care is required.
Thankfully, there are solutions.
One of the biggest draws to coworking, for independent earners, is the opportunity for collaborating with others in a professional environment. These shared spaces offer social interaction, networking, and the advantages of an office (top-of-the-line printers, fast and secure Wi-Fi) without the commitment to a company. Fortunately, that team-mentality is now translating into group benefits for those sharing an address during the work week!
Started in Ontario, Canada, the Coworking Health Insurance Plan offers medical, dental, disability, term life, travel, and prescription drug coverage to all members of 18 coworking locations across the province. Like company employees, coworking members band together and leverage group benefit buying power. The insurance is customizable for each participant and available for individuals, spouses, children, and families.
Though it took a few years longer than COHIP, a medical startup called Leaa is now offering healthcare plans to coworking office in some states. Starting at $20 per month, some of the benefits include:
- Blood work and tests for certain infectious diseases
- Eye pain and eyeglasses prescriptions
- Flu vaccines
- Fracture repair, casting, and splinting
- IV Drips
- Laceration repairs
- One Physical per year
- Prescriptions and refills
- Rapid diagnostic tests
- Skin biopsy
- Telehealth visits
- Urgent care and primary care visits
- Vitamin drips and vitamin boosters
If coworking health plans aren’t currently available in your area, don’t despair, many insurance brokers are familiar with plans that are easily customized for you and your group. Take the lead by crafting a survey for your officemates, pinpointing the most important elements of a shared plan. Chances are your agent will be so happy gaining your business, they’ll offer incentives and fee waivers making the policy even more affordable!
Bottom Line: Health insurance is vitally important for you and your family. Thankfully, working for yourself no longer means forfeiting affordable coverage and competent care.