Complete Guide to Uber Health Insurance Options

Posted by Frank Gogol

Who hasn’t heard about Uber to this point? No matter if you are in the United States or in any other country in the world, the chances are that you probably already rode with or at least heard of the multi-billion-dollar private startup that is beating Lyft entirely.

And considering that it’s such a big company spread all over the world, it’s obvious that it would need quite a lot of drivers. All of these drivers go back and forth, picking up clients and dropping them off at their destination – leaving them little time to handle their own business or do any other kind of work.

That being said, if you got your social security number and you receive most of your income from Uber, what can you do in terms of health insurance? Do you have any actual Uber health insurance? Well, the answer to that is quite debatable – and by continuing to read this article, you will find out why.

Does Uber Offer Healthcare to Its Drivers?

According to various studies, there are quite a few Uber drivers all over the world – and the number keeps growing. From the 160,000 people that were registered as Uber drivers in 2014 (as specified by Forbes here), that number went up to 2 million in 2017. According to the Ridester, it’s a number that came straight from Garrett Camp, the co-founder of Uber.

That being said, while there are many drivers registered into Uber’s service, they are not exactly employees. Each of these drivers is seen as an independent contractor – and is not given the benefits of your average employee. As a result, they will have to look for ways to cover their own expenses and to get medical coverage.

Uber Health Insurance Options

Since Uber does not actually have a health insurance plan for its drivers, local or on a visa, they will all have to look in a variety of other places for a good plan. After all, the last thing that they want is to find themselves in a medical emergency only to realize that they have no way of covering the costs. That being said, even if there are no official Uber health insurance plans, there are still ways for you to get coverage.

Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare)

Granted, Uber does not directly provide health insurance to its contractor – but this does not mean that they do not care in the slightest about what is going on with them. That being said, since they understand the importance of health coverage, this is exactly why they became such big fans of the Affordable Care Act (also referred to as the ObamaCare).

In an article written for the Washington Post, the CEO of Uber, Travis Kalanick, started talking exactly about why Uber is “such a big fan” of ObamaCare. Mentioning that it was “huge” for the business, he claimed that the benefits provided by that organization allowed the people to have a more flexible way of living.

In other words, they would no longer have to slave themselves to their employer in order to receive coverage. They can simply work part-time for companies such as Uber on an EAD, receive the coverage that they need, and then proceed into following their dreams.

If you already are a 1099 employee (i.e. an independent contractor), then the chances are very high that you already have insurance through ObamaCare – which you can continue with once you start contracting with Uber. If you just quit your day job and are transitioning from employed worker to independent contractor, then you have one more option to choose aside from ObamaCare.

COBRA Continuation Coverage

Those who are transitioning from employment to independent contractors might also want to see whether they are eligible for the COBRA continuation coverage or not. This federal law claims that a state employer has the right to remain on the health insurance plan for a longer period of time after they leave employment. The coverage will differ from person to person, but you may get as much as 18 months’ worth of health insurance.

Why It’s Important for Uber Drivers to Have Healthcare

Why should anyone have healthcare, for that matter? Imagine breaking your arm or getting an illness that would require quite a lot of hospitalization. In that case, you would have to pay quite a lot for your medical bills if you were to pull it from your own pocket – but almost nothing if you had insurance.

However, for all intents and purposes, the profession of an Uber driver is a very catastrophic one. For one, you never know when some random driver might come crashing straight in your car, injuring you badly in the process. You might require a lot of medical attention, and while the passenger might get insurance, the driver doesn’t.

Plus, we often see strange people on the street – just imagine how many of them hop into an Uber driver’s car. Sure, as a driver, you can hope that you will only have nice passengers that only want to get to their destination – but you can never know when a dangerous person might hop into your car and put you at risk. In the event that something goes horribly bad, you need to know that you have the coverage to get yourself back into good health.

4 Tips for Choosing the Right Healthcare Plan

So, no matter if you are a citizen of the United States or are an immigrant on an H1 visa looking to earn some extra cash, there are certain tips and tricks that you might want to follow.

Know When and Where to Enroll

Depending on where your place of residence is, you might either use your state’s insurance market to look for a good offer or visit the HealthCare.gov platform. Each state might have its own exchange plan, so make sure that you are enrolling in the right place. Generally, the federal exchange will begin opening enrollment around mid-December, but if you are staying in a place that has its own marketplace, then you might have more time.

Always Review and Understand Your Plan Options

No matter if you are involved with the ObamaCare act or not, you might still want to review your options and see if you can’t find something better for you. Some people don’t actually give much thought into this, because “every insurance plan is the same” – but the truth is that they are not.

Compare Annual Costs Instead of Monthly Premiums

When you are getting a loan as an Uber driver, you don’t necessarily look at the extras, but at the yearly costs, right? Well, the same thing should apply if you look for insurance. Practically, you should see exactly how much you have for it every year.

Think about How Much Healthcare You Actually Use

Think about the way in which you might have to use Uber health insurance. If you anticipate a lower need for care, then you might not have to pay a lot of money on the premiums. On the other hand, if you are operating in a dangerous area, you should make the investment.

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Final Thoughts

As an Uber driver, insurance is a very important thing to think about. You may be exposed to quite a number of catastrophes, so you need to make sure that you have all the coverage that you need.

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