SF company helps freelancers find health insurance

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- You have just nine days to enroll under the Affordable Care Act if you want health insurance by the first of the year. One large group scrambling to meet the deadline is the estimated 60 million nationwide working as independent contractors or freelancers, in the so-called gig economy.

7 On Your Side's Michael Finney shows them where to find help.

Ruby Woo sang her original piece "Can't Leave Him Alone" in the ABC7 recording studio. The Pittsburg woman has turned her talents into a full time career.

She's appeared with such well-known performers as R Kelly, Robin Thicke on the VMAs and also Kendrick Lamar.

"It's been quite a few people, very fortunate to have worked with them all," said Woo.

Woo has no employer sponsored health care, so she's had to find it on her own. "It's really scary. Health care is super important. Insurance is so important to have and you never know what can happen," she said.

She turned to the folks at Stride Health for help.
The San Francisco based company specializes in finding health insurance for independent contractors and part time workers.

"More and more people are either working for themselves or they work for an employer that doesn't give them benefits and so there's a lot of really hard things that come along with working in that way," said Noah Lang of Stride Health.

The company offers to find the best health plan for you at no additional costs.

Stride makes its money through commissions. Much of its business comes through the Affordable Care Act.

The Senate-passed version of tax reform calls for the elimination of the mandate for health insurance. "Regardless of what happens with that mandate, the people that we serve, Stride members, need health coverage," said Lang.

Woo says for her, Stride removed all the confusion that can happen when choosing a health plan

"It's kind of hard to navigate when you are self-employed in terms of health care because there are so many options. So Stride was able to help me kind of narrow that down. "

With her health plan selected, she can concentrate on her music career.

We're bringing experts into our studio to answer your Covered California questions tomorrow via phone or social media from 4 p.m. - 8 p.m. You can send your questions now using the hashtag #askfinney.

Produced by Randall Yip

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