The Future of Health Care

May 2, 2011

When we started thinking about the theme of our next ad campaign, we knew we wanted to speak audaciously about how we're working to fix a broken health care system.

It's no secret that the health care "ecosystem"—the relationship between patients, providers, and insurance companies—is falling apart. Patients pay too much for too little care, providers are hamstrung by medical costs and paperwork, and insurers have to increase the bottom line for shareholders. The average cost of a health plan on the individual market in New York State is over $600 a month, which is way too high for most people.

So what are we doing to fix it?

Our goal is to build a new ecosystem that's better, more efficient, and cheaper than what currently exists. (How often do you hear those words used to describe health care?) In New York, we created a model where freelancers can get group-rate health insurance that follows them from gig-to-gig. We're developing ways for our members to get health care that treats the patient, not just the illness. And we're working to spread this model to other states so that freelancers nationwide have quality and cost-effective options. In short, we're trying to build a fair and equitable health insurance system.

But it's not easy. The health insurance system is complicated, with deeply entrenched interests. So we're starting with small solutions that have the potential to get bigger.

Early on we knew that the best way to illustrate what we're doing is by showing freelancers who experience the health care ecosystem every day. All of our ads show Freelancers Union members. We paid them for their time, but their thoughts are their own. Some are insured; some are uninsured. Some are frustrated with their healthcare options; some are resigned; and some are happy with what they have.

If you'd like to know more about the plans available from Freelancers Union, we encourage you to explore what's available. Because—who knows—something as practical as buying health insurance may do something as noble as shaping the future of health care.