Mom Corps defines flexibility in terms of time, place and duration. This means that many of our candidates are seeking flexible work in the form of part-time, modified hours, telecommuting or project work. We know this can be beneficial for both our clients who enjoy tapping into talent not otherwise available, and our candidates who desire meaningful work that allows them a better quality of life.
But many talented individuals who desire this flexible work style hesitate to leave their traditional job for one crucial reason: medical benefits. “Superstar Sue” may yearn to work 30 hours a week so she can assist her aging parents, but can’t go part-time without losing her coverage. “New Mom Nancy” has a freelance opportunity to work from home, but is worried about getting individual insurance with her pre-existing medical condition. Their fears are understandable; a medical crisis can take a normal family from financial stability to bankruptcy in a matter of months. Fortunately, this obstacle is becoming less of an issue with the emergence of portable benefits plans.
Until just recently, those seeking flexible work had to rely on expensive COBRA plans or a spouse with benefits in order to have reasonable benefits coverage. But in the past few years, health insurance providers have been creating a variety of programs that allow more non-traditional employees to have access to benefits even when they leave the position they are in. A couple popular portable benefits include:
Wellness plans are a basic benefits plan with guarantee issuance and low deductibles. These plans usually cover well visits, dentistry and hospital visits with an annual maximum benefit. These plans are a great way to budget an allotted amount for normal health care expenses.
Catastrophic plans cover major medical issues with a high maximum. Often called “major medical” plans, these plans don’t cover basic medical costs, like checkups or vaccinations, but protect participants from the financial crisis that can ensure with a major accident or long-term illness.
Health Savings Accounts allow plan participants to allot pre-tax funds to cover medical costs not covered by insurance plans. These plans are different from Flexible Spending Accounts, which dictate that the plan owner use the funds in a plan year or lose the money. HSAs are a good vehicle for accruing money to use on health care expenditures.
Flex workers can shop for portable benefits directly with policy providers or through companies like Mom Corps that provide flexible staffing opportunities. We offer portable benefits options to all our consultants (the W-2 professionals we place with clients on a full- or part-time temporary basis). He or she can sign up as an individual, or add a spouse or family. They can keep coverage even when their tenure is over.
The good news for companies? This opens up the candidate pool for them within this ever-growing workforce seeking flexibility in today’s emerging “contract economy.” Affordable access to quality healthcare is a key element to making flexibility a reality. We at Mom Corps fully support this trend, as it allows people more freedom to seek work/life synthesis.
Has access to healthcare benefits been a barrier for hiring great contractors? Would love to hear what solutions have worked for your organization in this capacity.
COO of Mom Corps