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Uber said it would help pay drivers' healthcarethen withdrew the offer 2 weeks later, calling it a 'mistake

Published by Business Insider on Fri, 11 Jun 2021

<p><img src="https://static6.businessinsider.com/image/60c351e06d855e0018157801-2400/Uber - Photo by Pavlo GoncharSOPA ImagesLightRocket via Getty Images.jpg" border="0" alt="Uber" data-mce-source="Photo by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images" data-mce-caption="Uber has retracted an accidental offer to subsidize drivers' health insurance outside California"></p><p></p><bi-shortcode id="summary-shortcode" data-type="summary-shortcode" class="mceNonEditable" contenteditable="false">Summary List Placement</bi-shortcode><p>Uber has retracted an offer to subsidize most drivers' health insurance plans, saying it had made a "mistake."</p><p>The company sent workers an email two weeks ago that said "Uber can help cover your healthcare costs," <a href="https://www.theverge.com/2021/6/10/22528148/uber-drivers-health-insurance-mistake-error">as reported by The Verge</a>. "If you need health coverage, there's no better time to apply for a healthcare plan," the email said.</p><p>But Uber backtracked on Wednesday, emailing drivers saying the original offer was only meant for California drivers.&nbsp;</p><p>Podcaster Ed Burmila shared the new email on Twitter. Burmila <a href="https://gizmodo.com/uber-accidentally-promised-its-u-s-workers-health-care-1847075113">told Gizmodo</a> that he drove for Uber part-time.&nbsp;</p><p>"On May 26th, we sent you two emails with the subject line 'It's a great time to get health coverage,'" the Wednesday email said. "Unfortunately we made a mistake sending this email to you, as this policy only applies to drivers and delivery people in California."&nbsp;</p><p>Another Uber driver shared the same email on a <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/uberdrivers/comments/nw77gz/have_some_health_care_ahh_just_kidding/">Reddit thread for Uber drivers</a>. Others commented that they had received the same message.&nbsp;</p><p>The company said in the email that it would reimburse drivers' first-month premiums if they had signed up for an insurance plan between receiving the first and second emails.&nbsp;</p><p>Uber's drivers are hired as independent contractors, meaning the company does not have to sponsor their health insurance. In 2020, Uber and similar "gig economy" companies opposed a California-state law that would have required they treat drivers as employees. Uber eventually co-authored and helped pass <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/uber-doordash-lyft-prop-22-spending-200-million-close-polling-2020-10">Proposition 22</a>, a law allowing drivers to remain as contractors, but with some concessions.</p><p>One of those was for gig-work companies to pay into a common fund to help subsidize workers' healthcare in the state.&nbsp;</p><p>Uber and Burmila did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.&nbsp;</p><p><a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/uber-driver-health-insurance-offer-mistake-california-2021-6#comments">Join the conversation about this story &#187;</a></p> <p>NOW WATCH: <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/bpa-plastic-containers-bad-health-risks-obesity-heart-disease-diabetes-2019-2">Why I'm throwing away every plastic thing in my kitchen ASAP</a></p>
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