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The 1st Health Insurance Plan For Coworking Spaces

Bento Miso in Toronto, a coworking space of the collective CoworkingOntario

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Bring a group of independent workers, freelancers and entrepreneurs together and ask them to identify one of the biggest drawbacks to “working for themselves” and pretty quickly the conversation will turn to Health Insurance. While most independent workers value the flexibility that their chosen work style provides, traditionally the high price of extended health benefits has been a real financial barrier to most.

A local association of coworking spaces offers the first health insurance plan to all members of 18 coworking spaces in the state of Ontario (Canada). 

“We are so excited to be able to offer this initiative to our members” said Ashley Proctor, the COHIP program manager and founder of Creative Blueprint and Foundery in Toronto. “This type of collaborative approach to solving problems speaks directly to the benefits of coworking. Rather than each worker or even each coworking space acting independently, we are able to leverage the power of our collective to secure extremely competitive rates and accessible benefit packages for all of our members in Ontario.”

The program is called Coworking Health Insurance Plane (COHIP) and includes options for coverage include health, dental, disability, travel, and term life insurance. The insurance plans are completely customizable and each member can apply for a unique package that meets their needs. Although the plan is launching first in Ontario, the intention is that it will expand across Canada in 2014.

“While all coworking collectives share resources, best practices and even leverage group buying power” said Proctor, “we believe this is the first time, a coworking collective has offered a sustainable health and dental insurance plan to their members.”

"We can't wait to start offering this as a membership benefit to our residents" said Martha Jack, President of Treehaus Collaborative Workspace in Kitchener, Ontario. "As an entrepreneur, I know that I've personally been looking for a solution like this for a long time and now through the efforts of CoworkingOntario, we have access to plans at a reasonable price." 

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Coworking Ontario is a collective of independent coworking spaces from across the province of Ontario including spaces located in Barrie, London, Stratford, Kitchener, Guelph, Huntsville, Toronto, and Peterborough. The members of the collective work together to spread the word about coworking and share best practices to strengthen their unique communities. 

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