From NetworkWorld, Mynul Khan describes how the Affordable Care Act (ACA) rescued workers from job lock. Mynul writes:
We know this because freelancers and companies have told us. Together with Future Workplace, Field Nation surveyed more than 1,500 human resources professionals and freelancers. Both groups said the ACA has had a large impact on how they do work.
The ACA has played a significant role in the rise of the blended workforce. It provided the solution to job lock, a problem plaguing millions of Americans, and created more employer demand than ever before for freelancers and their skills.
Providing the key to employee job lock
Whether or not you have heard of job lock, you have probably been impacted by it.
In 2008, a Harvard Business School study estimated that 11 million Americans were affected by what economists call job lock—staying in a job they didn’t like or want just for the health benefits. Taking a pay cut for another position was one thing, but losing benefits was another. Many workers considered it too risky to leave their jobs when it meant leaving their health coverage, too.
Because of job lock, there were undoubtedly many people who wanted to work for themselves but couldn’t bring themselves to leave the security of their health coverage.
The ACA has changed that. As the New York Times described:
James Bailey, a graduate student in economics at Temple University, came up with a clever way to test that theory: he looked at what happened to 19- to 25-year-olds when the ACA made it possible for them to stay on their parents’ health insurance plans, beginning in 2010. Those who got the coverage, he found, were two to three times more likely to go into business for themselves. And that increase was largely driven by women, who are generally more risk-averse than men.
Bailey showed job lock wasn’t just a theory posited by economics. It was real, and the ACA found the key.
Many freelancers we surveyed said the ACA made it easier to be a freelancer.
“It made healthcare affordable,” said one.
Another freelancer did the math, saying, “It cut my health insurance cost from $17,000-plus a year to $8,000 a year.”
These freelancers demonstrate how the ACA separates healthcare benefits from traditional employment—to allow freelancers to pursue their passion.
Read the full story at How the ACA changed how freelancers and companies work | Network World