This interview was originally featured in Tech For Equity Updates — a biweekly newsletter about Change Machine’s platform, including upcoming trainings, and insights from our community of practice. Subscribe today!
This week we’re highlighting the newest fintech on our recommendation engine, Catch! We spoke with Lexi Gervis, Lead of Policy and Partner Engagement for Catch, to tell us more on how Catch is making healthcare accessible to workers who have been excluded from traditional employer benefits. She recently finished a PhD in sociology, conducting extensive research on portable benefits for nontraditional workers.
Tell us more about Catch.
Approximately 57 million people are under an independent work status, ineligible for employer benefits. If employer benefits were a safety net, we’re meant to fill this gap that many workers don’t have. That’s where Catch comes in: to catch you if you fall. It’s also about making sure to catch your income as it comes in so that you’re setting it aside for benefits.
We tend to group independent contractors, freelancers, and 1099 tax status workers into one type of worker. Yet there’s this heterogeneous group of people who aren’t being met by our country’s current benefits and safety net structure.
Without us, you’d have to go to different solutions for retirement, healthcare, taxes, etc. But we’re offering them in one place. It functions like a benefits package from a traditional employer so you’re more likely to actually build the safety net you need.
From your perspective, what is the role of Change Machine’s recommendation engine in connecting fintech products with lower- and middle-income communities?
The beauty of getting to partner with Change Machine is to reach people who might not know they could be getting affordable health insurance and are going uninsured instead. That’s what we want to change.
People trust providers like Change Machine since you have a very serious vetting process around who you’ll work with, which I think increases community trust. The truth is that trust is initially in the partner. We just want people to be able to access our product. Going through partners that are trusted in the community, wherever they are, is our best way of communicating with communities that might be unwilling.
What should practitioners and their customers know about applying for healthcare benefits during open enrollment period?
There’s this reticence around health insurance because customers think that there’s no way they will get a good plan, but we’re trying to educate people that it’s possible. The application process takes about 10 minutes through our system. This is the moment to get health insurance and you’ll be covered for all of next year.
There’s this reticence around health insurance because customers think that there’s no way they will get a good plan, but we’re trying to educate people that it’s possible.
Catch’s health insurance enrollment period for calendar year 2022 is now open! Please refer any interested customers or community members to apply by next Wednesday, December 15th to begin health insurance coverage on January 1, 2022. Please contact Catch if you have any questions!