Arlington Entrepreneurs

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How Proposed Health Care Changes Will Affect Freelancers


I don’t know about you, but I’m constantly looking over my shoulder in anticipation of what Congress will do to our healthcare access if it can get its hands on it. Their latest round of proposals have some bad and some not-so-bad options, particularly when it comes to health care plans many freelancers purchase through Associations. These may be a blessing or a curse, assuming they are legislated into action. While we’re waiting to find out, here’s an interesting article by Freelancer’s Union participant Carol Poster:

How Proposed Healthcare Changes Will Affect Freelancers
by Carol Poster

The health insurance regulatory landscape in the United States may soon be changing in ways that offer new opportunities and new hazards for freelancers and entrepreneurs. The new opportunities are ones that allow sole proprietors to join Association Health Plans, Short Term Health Plans to be extended from a three-month to a 364-day maximum period, and both to be sold across state lines. The hazards are that these plans pose substantial financial risks and may destabilize ACA marketplaces, making insurance more expensive for many people.

Although the proposed new regulations are still works-in-progress, as health insurance enrollment periods for 2019 approach, freelancers should pay careful attention to changes affecting Association Health Plans and Short-Term Health Insurance Plans, which are now being touted as possible alternatives to ACA marketplaces. While both these types of plans may be promoted as offering lower premiums than ACA-compliant plans, experts have raised significant questions about their quality of coverage, including cherry-picking only the healthiest customers, allowing age and gender discrimination, limiting coverage of pre-existing conditions, having lifetime benefit caps, offering no or limited coverage of many common conditions, and, in the case of AHPs, potential financial insolvency.

Read the rest of this article.

Freelancing is a Force – and We Need to Reckon With it


An excellent article from Scott Tillitt of the National Freelancers Union

Within 10 years, at its current growth rate, the majority of the US workforce will be freelancers. Think about that for a second (or a minute): It has major ramifications for our economy, politics, culture.

This startling stat comes from “Freelancing in America: 2017” (FIA), a comprehensive study from freelancing website Upwork and our own Freelancers Union.

FIA estimates that already more than one-third of the US workforce are currently freelancing (57 million Americans) and contribute approximately $1.4 trillion annually to the economy — a nearly 30% jump since last year.

Read the rest of this article

How the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act May Affect Your Business


With a shout-out to the National Freelancers Union, here’s an article with more specific information about the advantages and disadvantages of the new tax law. Give it a read. If you have an accountant, you should be talking to them about upcoming changes.

How the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act impacts freelancers

In case you missed it due to the holiday rush, President Trump recently signed into law the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), representing the broadest reform of tax laws in three decades.

With the new laws now taking effect, you’ll notice both some positive and negative aspects related to individual and business taxes. Suffice it to say, the TCJA will impact you as a freelance professional.

Read the rest of this article on the National Freelancers Union Website.

The Push is On: Health Insurance Options for Massachusetts Residents


It was supposed to be the country’s biggest secret, but the word has gotten out: the enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) has been opened. The time period has been shortened, however. Enrollment began November 1 and will be going only until December 15, 2017.

health connector logoMany AE members get their health insurance through their spouse. For those of you who don’t, there are two options: MassHealth (Medicaid) and market-rate health insurance available via the Mass Health Connector, including a new option for business. Here are links which provide information about your options:

Mass Health Connector (including business):

MassHealth (Medicaid, which in Massachusetts also includes the Childrens Health Insurance Program or CHIP):

Arlington Entrepreneurs does not, alas, offer its own health care plans (affordable or otherwise). We are, however, doing our best to make sure we don’t lose what we have left. If any of you have questions about health care coverage, please contact Margy Rydzynski at margy AT arlingtonentrepreneurs DOT org. She will do what she can to find answers.

These are stressful days for many of us, especially when it comes to health insurance or any other social safety net programs. Call your representative in Congress to make sure they know what you need. Note also that the upcoming tax “reform” bill may try to sneak in cuts to the Affordable Care Act. Medicare and Medicaid may also be on the chopping block, if not now then in the future.

Success in business depends on planning and lots of personal initiative. So does protecting our benefits, now and in the future. We have a congressional delegation that supports our need for affordable, high quality health and other benefits. We need to let them know that we stand behind them, as  much as they are standing behind us.

If you haven’t already, now’s the time to sign up. None of us can afford to go without health insurance, even if we think we’re healthy enough to get along without it.