- Create a profile and get listed in the Freelancers Member Directory - Access member-only discounts - Get coverage through our National Benefits Platform - Sign up to receive e-newsletters with news, tips, and freelance fun from our blog - Network with other freelancers on Hives, our new social platform - Get involved in advocacy so your voice is heard - Attend Freelancers Union Sparks, which happen nationwide - Ask other freelancers questions or share tips on our community platform, Hives
Membership is instant and virtual! We don’t mail out membership cards, but in order to access discounts, you may need to print out a Proof of Membership card, which you can find here. You can also just print one out ‘cause they’re spiffy.
We offer dental, life and disability insurance nationwide. Freelancers across the country are encouraged to become members of Freelancers Union in order to take advantage of these and other, free benefits, like corporate and member-to-member discounts. By joining, you’ll also have access to Hives, a members-only network for exchanging tips, gigs, and resources. Join now!
Sign in to the FreelancersUnion.org website and update your email address or password on the Account Information page. If you need to change your password for your insurance information, mouse over “My Account” and click “Manage My Insurance.” From there click “Change Password.”
Your username is the email address you chose to register with. If you forget your password you can have it reset by going to Account Settings and clicking Password Help under the Sign In box. Then follow the instructions to create a new password. We’ll send you a validation email to confirm the change, so you must be able to access the inbox for the email address we have on file for you in order to receive the validation link. Once you’ve clicked on the validation link, you may then sign in to your account using your new password.
If you forgot your password for managing insurance, you can reset your password by going to the insurance portal and clicking Forgot Password.
Our doctors and nurses are general practitioners who are trained to offer pediatric and gynecological care, but we do not have a pediatrician or OB/GYN at the practice. However, the doctors at Freelancers Medical are board-certified in family practice and care for patients of all ages, including children. Women's health checkups are also available (not including OB and prenatal care).
We built Freelancers Medical to meet the needs of freelancers who often have hectic schedules. Wait times for a visit are short, and there’s WiFi in the lounge. We also offer virtual appointments through Skype, online appointment booking after your first visit, and 24-hour telephone access to a healthcare provider, in addition to regular Brooklyn and Manhattan practice hours.
Open Enrollment takes place once a year and is a federal specified period of time when you can buy or change your insurance and add or drop dependants from coverage. For 2015 plans, Open Enrollment runs from November 15, 2014 to February 15, 2014.
You may purchase life or disability insurance coverage for the first time at any time during the year; however, certain rules apply if you wish to make changes to your existing plan.
Freelancers Medical is an innovative program that pairs primary care with alternative and wellness services.Designed by Freelancers Union to help members live healthy and balanced lives of meaningful independence, Freelancers Medical is available through certain Empire plans offered through Freelancers Union in 2015. Freelancers Medical has two locations in Brooklyn and Manhattan -- spaces where members can connect with a supportive community.
Members of the program have access to unlimited primary care with $0 co-pay and a host of free wellness services, including acupuncture, nutritional counseling, yoga, Tai Chi and meditation classes, and stress management programs at both locations.
Yes, the $0 co-pay primary care services are only available for members of the Freelancers Medical program at the Freelancers Union Halls in Brooklyn and Manhattan, and to access this program you must enroll in select Empire plans.
You can end your coverage for any reason at any time. Once coverage begins, the first month's premiums and fees are non-refundable, but any payments you've made for future months of coverage will be refunded.
Your coverage will end on the last day of the month you make your request and can't be made retroactively. Ending your coverage will also end coverage for any and all of your dependents.
If you end your dental coverage, please note that you must wait 12 months from the date your coverage ended to re-apply.
The rate is slightly higher to cover the cost of access to our $0 copay Freelancers Medical primary care locations where you can access a range of medical services, as well as health and wellness classes.
If you don't add your dependent when you initially enroll in a plan, you can add them during the annual open enrollment period or as the result of a qualifying event. If you add a dependent after a qualifying event, you may need to verify your dependent's eligibility and relation to you.
Qualifying events include:
New domestic partnership
Loss of other coverage (due to loss of employment, end of the plan or contract, or loss of eligibility for a government-sponsored plan)
New child (by birth or adoption; dependent children of domestic partners are governed by the same rules as a member's children)
If you're enrolled in the MDG plan, you can remove dependents only during the annual open enrollment period or within 30 days of a qualifying event. You can remove dependents from the PPO plan at any time.
The following dependents are eligible for dental coverage:
Spouse: Legal spouse (unless legally separated) and common-law spouse where legally recognized by the state.
Dependent Child: A qualifying dependent child is eligible through the end of the month he/she turns 20. Qualifying dependents include:
Your natural child
Your legally adopted child
A child under your legal guardianship
A child of your qualified domestic partner living with you and your domestic partner in a parent-child relationship
Full-time Student: Any of your unmarried children described above who are:
Over age 20 and under age 26;
Enrolled in an accredited school as a full-time student; and
Primarily supported by the member.
Dental coverage ends at the end of the calendar year in which your dependent turns 26.
Domestic Partner: Your domestic partner may be eligible for coverage. A domestic partner is an unmarried adult who is not related to you by blood in a manner that would bar marriage under applicable state laws, and who resides with you in a continuous relationship of indefinite duration in which you both have responsibility for each other's welfare and financial well-being. NOTE: A Domestic Partner cannot be added if either you or your domestic partner has been part of another domestic partnership within the last 6 months. All persons added under this section will be considered family members.
Child(ren) of a Domestic Partner: Your covered domestic partner's dependent child(ren) may also be eligible. Dependent children are governed by the same terms and conditions that apply to your child(ren).
Your dental insurance will start the first of the month indicated on the enrollment form, or the first of the month after open enrollment, or the first of the month following the birth or adoption of a child.
To have your dental services covered, you must go to the dental office that you choose when you enroll. You can find a conveniently located dentist in the MDG or HMO Directory of Participating General Dentists, or on the Guardian website. All of your dental care will be provided by, or arranged by, your selected dental office. For more information about the services covered in the MDG plan, see the Benefit Summary for your plan.
You can change dental offices just by calling Guardian. The change will be effective on the first day of the next month, as long as you call before the 20th day of the month.
There’s no limit to the number of times you can change dental offices, but selections are always effective from the first day of a month to the last day of a month. Any services started at one dental office must be completed by that office, and your account with the first office must be paid in full before a transfer can be processed. To contact Guardian:
- New York: 888.618.2016 - California and Texas: 800.273.3330 - Florida, Illinois, and Michigan: 866.494.4542
The MDG or HMO network includes oral surgeons, periodontists, endodontists, orthodontists and pediatric dental specialists. If you need dental services that only a specialist can provide, your primary care dental office will request authorization from Guardian for you to see a participating specialist. (Usually your dental office will have the referral authorized within ten days; if it’s an emergency, it is faster.) You will be responsible for the patient charge shown in your booklet for any covered services performed by a specialist dentist.
With the MDG or HMO plan, most diagnostic and preventive services are covered at no cost to you. However, for basic, major and some preventive services, you will pay a certain amount -- which is referred to as a patient charge -- for each covered service you receive. The patient charges for your MDG or HMO plan are listed in your certificate of coverage booklet, so you’ll always know what you’ll have to pay for services you need. With The Guardian MDG or HMO plan, there are no deductibles, annual maximums or coinsurance, plus pre-treatment reviews are not required for services provided by your participating general dentist.
If you visit a Guardian PPO Network Provider, the benefits described in the Benefit Summary will be paid based on a reduced fee schedule (this will mean lower out-of-pocket expenses). The network provider cannot charge in excess of the fee schedule, so you can receive more services with your yearly maximum. If you go to an out-of-network dentist, the benefits will be based on usual, customary and reasonable rates for a given area.
An annual maximum is the maximum amount your dental plan will pay in benefits during the year. Both are generally based on the calendar year. Deductibles and annual maximums apply to each covered person.
For some services, you may share in the cost of your dental expenses. This is represented as a percentage of the usual, customary and reasonable level (if a non-network dentist is used) or a percentage of the negotiated fee for covered services (if a network dentist is used). The percentage of coinsurance usually depends on the type of service received: Preventive, Basic or Major. See the Benefit Summary for the co-insurance amounts for the Guardian PPO plan.
Network dentists have contracted with Guardian to submit claim forms and accept benefits directly from Guardian. Some non-network dentists may submit claims directly to Guardian. More often, however, non-network dentists will require that you pay for services at the time they are rendered. Afterwards, complete a claim form and forward it to Guardian along with a copy of your payment receipt.
Usual, customary, and reasonable (UCR) charges for covered services are determined by using the usual level of charges made by the majority of dentists in the same geographic area for the same service. If your dentist’s fee is lower than the UCR charge, the plan will pay benefits based on the actual fee. If the fee is higher, the plan will pay benefits based only on the UCR charge, and you are responsible for any amount above the UCR limit.
People who work independently stand to lose the most in the case of sickness or injury. Protecting yourself with disability insurance to cover unexpected costs and lost wages is a smart move. Investing in good life insurance will give you the peace of mind of knowing that the people who depend on you are taken care of, should anything happen to you. We selected Guardian as our life and disability insurance provider based on their 146-year history. As the fourth-largest mutual life insurance company in the country, Guardian can afford to make a long-term commitment to Freelancers Union and our members.
No health-related questions are asked in the eligibility application, nor are they a part of the enrollment for health or dental insurance. If you're applying for life or disability insurance, you will be asked qualifying questions about your health and medical background.
Depending on how your disability plan is administered, your benefit check could be taxable. If you pay your plan premiums with pre-tax dollars, your benefit checks will be taxable. Any applicable Social Security or FICA taxes are automatically withheld from your checks. If, however, you pay 100% of your premiums with post-tax dollars, your benefit checks may be tax-free.
There are no ID cards for life insurance, but you will receive an email confirmation once your enrollment is complete. You will receive a copy of thebenefit bookletfor your life insurance plan in the mail; this can also be downloaded from our website for your records. If there is any discrepancy between the summary of benefits on our website and your Guardian benefit booklet, rely on the benefit booklet.
There is an initial period of time following the start of a disability, called the elimination period, when benefits are not payable. If you are eligible to receive a disability benefit, the benefit will be paid after this elimination period has elapsed.
Disability benefits are not payable for any disability caused by 1) war or any act of war (including service in the armed forces); 2) committing a felony or taking part in a riot or civil disorder; and 3) intentionally injuring yourself or attempting suicide while sane or insane. No benefits are payable for any period during which you are confined to a correctional facility, are not under the care of a doctor, or are experiencing a loss of earnings not solely due to disability. This plan may or may not cover a pre-existing condition; check your Summary Plan Description for more information. This plan provides disability income insurance only. It does not provide "Basic Hospital," "Basic Medical," or "Major Medical" insurance as defined by the New York State Insurance Department.
Worker's Compensation covers you only if you are an employee injured on the job, and does not cover an illness unless it is work-related. Social Security disability coverage is not guaranteed and rarely provides enough coverage to maintain your lifestyle.
Members of Freelancers Union who actively work independently as self-employed individuals receiving 1099 income or W2 income from their own business and who are not contributing to another ERISA qualified retirement account (such as a SEP IRA) are are eligible. You can contribute based only on your 1099 income.
Our plan is similar to an employee 401(k) plan: quick enrollment, streamlined administration, vetted investments, and potentially higher annual contributions. Our plan fits the needs of unpredictable freelance income by letting you contribute whatever you want whenever you want. Plus, there are no monthly administrative fees and you can select automatic monthly contributions from your bank account or make a contribution by check.
We are partnering with Amalgamated Bank to provide our members with an affordable, flexible and easy way to save for a more financially secure future. We like Amalgamated Bank because they align with our values and are a majority union-owned and unionized bank dedicated to serving workers. They also offer high quality lower cost funds.