The Obamacare website hit 2 million enrollments today as the 2014 New Year Holiday began. But Fox News is reporting that the President’s signature healthcare law is still facing a very uncertain future.
“Despite House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and other ardent supporters of ObamaCare declaring that it remains “the law of the land,” other congressional Democrats facing re-election this year have hinted at cannibalized the legislation in the face of a confused and frustrated electorate.”
Congress isn't the only group of Americans faced with confusion. As the US job market continues to limp towards recovery and as unemployment benefits continue to decrease or disappear altogether, many economists are noting the massive rise in freelancing. As many of the unemployed are heading towards the “Big Five” freelancing sites of Fiverr, Elance, Freelancer, oDesk, and Guru, they are also facing other new areas of personal, professional, and financial confusion.
How does a new freelancer learn to file income taxes for the first time? And how does a freelancing "newbie" sign up for Obamacare on the website without a steady, weekly paycheck as documentation?
The Huffington Post has offered a short list of steps that might prove very beneficial for the new surge in the American freelancing community. Since the Healthcare.gov website was not implemented with the utmost efficiency in the early days of the rollout, the signup process has been severely hampered. The original estimate by the Obama Administration was for 3 million enrollees by Jan 1, instead of the 2 million that they have received. Luckily, this gives the novice freelancer a bit more time to weigh their options.
According to Allena Tapia of the Huffington Post, freelancing professionals may not need to sign up through the Obamacare website at all. Each state has a network of healthcare insurance brokers and agents who might be better able to provide freelancers with an even lower rate. Other freelancing professionals may be exempt from the new law entirely. Subsidies and financial assistance are also available, but Tapia warns to pay close attention to freelancing fluctuations in income during 2014 in order to remain eligible.
As many Americans begin their first freelancing business, learning how to manage numerous social media sites, multiple email addresses, cumbersome budgeting spreadsheets, and strange new invoicing software, they are also faced with the challenges of taxes and healthcare. Planning ahead and taking time to research all options may save valuable time and money in the long term.