Taxi and limo driving has long been a method for some American workers to get a foothold in the job market, or as way to pay for an education. One of the main drawbacks, however, was that independent drivers often had to buy costly private health insurance policies, if they could afford insurance at all. Now a new trade association has been created that hopes to remedy that.
The National Association of Taxi Drivers (NATD) has recently been formed to offer its members health benefits at more affordable group rates. Discounted health and lifestyle benefits such as dental, vision, and chiropractic care as well as a prescription drug program are also available.
The NATD points out that the nearly 250,000 taxi and limo drivers in the United States have been one of America's most overlooked groups of independent contractors. The organization is not a union or advocacy group, but claims to be "a source of information and products to improve drivers' quality of life, to collaborate through a members-only forum, and stay informed through timely articles and current news." The organization has a national, rather than local focus.
NATD's president, Dan Spain, says that benefits offered through the NATD do not discriminate because of a member's health history. Pre-existing conditions will always be covered and the waiting period for the optional health insurance is only 21 to 52 days, depending on the member's enrollment date.