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HELP Committee Ranking Member Cassidy Seeks Feedback on Policies to Facilitate Portable Benefits for Independent Contractors

Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee Ranking Member Bill Cassidy (R-LA) issued a letter requesting feedback from stakeholders by June 26, 2024 on ways to reformulate federal laws and regulations to allow independent contractors access to portable workplace benefits, like retirement and healthcare, that have historically been tied to traditional employer-employee relationships.

In his letter, Cassidy contends that “at least 27 million Americans engage in independent work” including subcontractors, housing contractors, truck drivers, physicians, and participants in the ‘gig economy’ but federal labor and employment laws discourage and prevent workers from accessing commonplace workplace benefits.” As a result, Cassidy is seeking feedback on several topics to “improve regulatory barriers to portable benefits for independent contractors.” Among the topics on which Cassidy is requesting feedback are: (1) legal barriers to providing employee-like retirement benefits to independent workers; (2) the chief federal legal and regulatory obstacles preventing the provision of benefits to independent contractors; (3) the fringe benefits independent contractors value most; (4) criteria for who should be eligible for portable benefits; (5) how work hours should be measured to assign benefits where a worker is performing work for several clients at the same time; (6) how portable benefits should be funded; (7) current barriers that prevent independent contractors from banding together to have a larger risk pool to reduce insurance expenses; (8) the percentage of independent contractors covered by health insurance; (9) emerging portable benefit models or policies Congress should consider; (10) lessons that can be learned from current state portable benefit experiments; (11) lessons to be learned from previous federal policies, including the 2018 Trump-era Association Health Plans rule; and (12) whether Congress should consider expanding individual health coverage health reimbursement arrangements to independent workers.

Responses to the request for feedback are due by June 26, 2024, and can be submitted to

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