Thriving In Smaller Markets
Coworking is becoming more popular as its benefits become increasingly apparent. But there’s one benefit that many coworking community managers still overlook: health insurance. Improve your coworking members’ lives by offering them an affordable coworking health insurance plan as an alternative to the often costly private health insurance plans that make up a large part of expenses for freelancers and contractors.
Along with the other perks you offer, health insurance could be the key to attracting and retaining more digital nomads and freelancers to your coworking community.
Having to pay for your own health insurance is one of the main downsides of being an entrepreneur, freelancer, or independent worker. The lifestyle flexibility you enjoy when working for yourself comes at a price: the often high cost of extended health benefits and the need to navigate complicated tax regulations and policies
For this reason, consider negotiating affordable shared office insurance for the members of your coworking space. You can use your influence as a community with local agencies to negotiate highly competitive premiums and benefits for your members.
As a whole, the focus in the coworking industry is shifting away from growth and toward quality. There’s no shortage of coworking spaces that offer a strong community, professional business services, and many attractive amenities. You can set yourself apart by providing your members with sustainable and affordable health insurance.
With the growing range of choices, freelancers and entrepreneurs are becoming smarter about choosing a coworking space. Customized insurance coverage will soon become one of the main membership benefits that potential members will be on the lookout for. You want to be among the coworking communities that give members access to reasonably priced health plans.
A great example of a successful coworking health insurance program is the Coworking Health Insurance Plan (COHIP) established in Canada in 2013. This insurance program offers health, dental, disability, travel, and term life to freelancers, creatives, startups, small businesses, collectives and independent workers in Canada regardless of the industry in which they operate.
COHIP lets coworking members customize their health insurance plan, tailoring it to their individual needs. First launched in Ontario, the program is now available to all independent workers in Canada and has become a staple amenity in many coworking businesses.
Moreover, coverage is not limited to individuals. Small teams, members’ families, single parents, and couples can access the extended health benefits of this plan. Members of coworking spaces can join the COHIP program individually or through the coworking organization. After signing up, they can explore and customize health plans to suit their needs and enjoy affordable rates.
Secure a similar shared office insurance program for your coworking space by approaching local insurance agencies and shopping their options. Be sure to get a feel for what benefits are most important for your coworkers (vision, dental, life insurance, etc…). This can be done through a simple survey, email communications, or private one-to-one talks with members as you research the options.
In the U.S., the cost of health insurance and the ability to customize plans may vary by state, but it’s worth researching if it will keep members loyal to your space or local network. With the unstoppable increase of remote workers and the rising uncertainty behind government-subsidized plans, stable private health insurance will soon play a key role in the coworking industry. It might be necessary to work with a broker who can help you navigate and compare the often complicated policies from one agency to the next. Insurance providers are often happy to offer incentives such as waivers on application fees for your members because you’re driving customers to their business.
In addition to offering a flexible workspace, a strong sense of community, and networking opportunities among other benefits, it’s important that your coworking community prioritizes your members’ health and financial security by offering them affordable, high-quality extended health benefits. Your members will thank you for eliminating their biggest burden and letting them focus on thriving in their careers.
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