Affordable Care Act swelling ranks of self-employed, report says

From the Portland Press Herald

“Health policy experts say being released from “job lock” – a phenomenon in which people work at a job not because they want to, but primarily to maintain health benefits – will help make the economy more efficient by more closely matching employers and employees. Those who prefer to become self-employed – or convert to a part-time position – can do so without having to pay for expensive individual policies or go without insurance.

The Urban Institute, a left-leaning Washington, D.C.-based think tank, estimates in a 2014 study that about 7,000 more Mainers – and 1.5 million people nationwide – will choose to be self-employed as a result of the ACA, an increase of about 10 percent.

Health experts say that’s because the ACA makes non-employer-based insurance less costly by subsidizing benefits obtained in the new health insurance marketplace. Employer-based insurance typically is designed so that the company pays at least half the cost of health benefits.

Before the Affordable Care Act’s marketplace started this year, individuals purchasing benefits would pay the entire cost of the insurance policy, which made the benefits much more expensive…

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