How Gig Drivers can Qualify

Benefits for 1099 Workers: How Gig Drivers can Qualify

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Okay, so for now you’re still a 1099 worker. Are you fed up with working your butt off without getting insurance and other benefits? We thought so – and that’s why we put this article together. We wanted to let you know that it is now possible to get benefits while working as a gig driver.

Let’s look at the problem and the solution:

The problem: What it’s like for gig drivers to work without benefits

You can google all you want, but you’re not likely to get many results when you search for “1099 benefits 2022.” Outside of California, where Prop 22 enabled companies to offer relief to drivers while not formally making them full-blown employees, gig driver benefits are a very scarce commodity.

Gig drivers are independent contractors. The driving companies do not technically “employ” drivers; they simply make their apps available and collect money for the trips drivers make. By arguing that they are technology platforms and not transportation services, giant corporations such as Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, Grubhub, Instacart, and Amazon Prime avoid classifying drivers as employees. They play a game of semantics that has, so far, worked pretty well (at least for the companies).

So,  do 1099 workers get benefits? There are some gig driver jobs with benefits, but for the most part, they’re hard to come by. Most gig workers have to either rely on family members for their benefits, or be stuck with no insurance beyond what they carry on their vehicles. In terms of medical, visual, dental, and other kinds of personal insurance needs, there’s not much for independent contractors to be hopeful about. Other kinds of coverage, such as unemployment, disability, and life insurance, are completely out of the question.

Despite being out of luck when it comes to benefits, people aren’t deterred from pursuing gig work in 2022. More than ever, they are looking at the flexibility and self-determination that being a gig driver gives them. Employee Benefits News cites estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which maintains that 36 percent of all the workers in the United States are independent contractors, and live without the cushy safety net of benefits guaranteed by employers. 

What does this mean for drivers and other 1099 workers? If we get sick, we don’t work, and probably can’t afford to consult with a medical professional. It’s the same if we get injured. If business dies down the way it did during the pandemic, there’s no money coming in at all. If we need eye exams, medical checkups, or just have a sore tooth, we might be willing to forego treatment because of the astronomical costs we’d face. For as hard as drivers have to work, that’s a really uncomfortable, and even dangerous, way to live.

What’s needed: The benefits gig drivers want the most

Drivers are interested in many types of benefits. Retirement plans, education benefits, retailer discounts, and even pet insurance are among the perks many employers offer. While these benefits can make life easier for workers, there are others that are “musts,” including:

Health insurance

If they’re in poor health, people can’t do their jobs. That’s why coverage for doctors’ visits and hospitalization is such a big deal for drivers. The expense of medical services is so high, it’s no wonder this item is #1 on most drivers’ wish lists.

Dental and vision coverage

While you could say these items are “nice to have,” when trouble with your teeth or your eyes comes along, you don’t have the option of ignoring it. Dental infections can easily become systemic sepsis; and for obvious reasons, vision issues are not something any driver can afford to play with. While most of these services aren’t as expensive as a hospital stay, they can add up, fast. 

Accident medical expense insurance

Most of us know how easy it is to get into an accident. And it’s good to know that if an accident happens, and you can’t work, your income is covered. If you’re responsible for feeding a family, this kind of coverage is essential. 

Roadside assistance

When you drive to earn a living, stuff happens to your vehicle and you need help in a hurry. You sure don’t want to pay the retail price for a tow or a dead battery call. It would be nice to get automotive emergencies taken care of with one phone call; with this kind of coverage, getting help when you’re out on the road becomes a no-brainer.

Until recently, it’s been a struggle for drivers to get benefits like these. But thanks to  a new partnership between Gridwise and Avibra, a provider of affordable, accessible, and convenient financial and wellness policies, you can get great benefits right in your Gridwise app.

The solution: Gridwise Dollar Benefits

This partnership, called Gridwise Dollar Benefits, gives you $5,000 of insurance at no cost to you as soon as you sign up. That’s right; just for joining, you get a policy that will pay $5,000 to cover unexpected life expenses.

Once you’ve created your account, you can buy additional benefits for as little as $1 per week, such as:

  • Telemedicine: Unlimited virtual doctor’s visits, 24/7 with no copay;
  • Critical illness insurance: You develop a covered illness, you get $2,500 cash;
  • Accident medical expense insurance: You and/or your family members get paid $1,000 in emergency cash from an accident;
  • AD&D insurance: $20,000 in emergency cash for you and/or family members, to cover expenses beyond medical bills;
  • Life insurance: Cash for those you leave behind, should something happen to you;
  • Teletherapy: 30-minute virtual therapy visits with no copay;
  • Vision insurance: Discounts on eye exams, eye care, and eyewear;
  • Dental insurance: You and your family can get from 20 to 50% off most dental procedures;
  • Roadside assistance: Emergency help with towing, flat tires, lockouts, dead batteries, and even running out of gas.

Learn more about Gridwise Dollar Benefits and get all the details. You’ll discover how you can keep driving for a living while ensuring that you and your family are safe from becoming financially devastated due to an accident or illness. 

Get started with Gridwise Dollar Benefits 

Signing up for this great new program is easy. In your Gridwise app, simply go to the Benefits tab, then then tap any of the policies with a dollar sign icon. From there, you’ll find everything you need to start your coverage right away.

Don’t wait to get the coverage you need! Take advantage of this new offering from Gridwise and Avibra by downloading the Gridwise app to get started.

Get covered with affordable benefits today

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