The Freelance Class

I’m finally starting to come out of my long illness, which has knocked me down for most of the month of October. It was a strange upper-respiratory thing, which left me making wan jokes about Avian flu. (The doctor reassures me that I’ve got nothing of the kind, so no need to hit the Tamiflu if you’ve been near me recently.)

I’m generally very happy with my freelance life, but the one time freelancing really sucks is when you get sick. There’s the health insurance issue, first of all, and second of all, there’s the fact that there’s no such thing as a true sick day. If I were ever to have a long-term illness, my income would evaporate.

So, with that as a backdrop, I found this study about the state of freelancers in New York City, by Working Today, to be pretty darned interesting. This finds that 28% of freelancers spent at least part of the year without health insurance, and 14% had no insurance at all. I’d have actually thought the number would be higher. By way of comparison, 16% of the US population as whole goes without health insurance.

The study also finds that 100% of freelancers vote in national elections. So why can’t we get a better social safety net?


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