When you’re self employed, you have the freedom to create your own schedule, work in your own space, and work on your own time. While there are many benefits to this freedom, one factor you have to consider is providing for your own health insurance. Self employed health insurance can seem like a daunting thing to contemplate, however, purchasing a health insurance policy is simple and straightforward.
Health insurance for freelancers is affordable and covers a wide range of factors. We’ll show you what self employed health insurance is and how to purchase health insurance.
While health insurance is incredibly important for its own reasons, it’s also major thing to factor into your monthly budget. Because of the importance of your health, this is not something you can overlook. If you do not have health insurance and need to visit the doctor, you could potentially leave yourself with expensive doctor’s bills that could hurt you financially in the long run. Purchasing health insurance will prevent this from happening, and it doesn’t have to be costly.
You’ll pay a monthly fee to an insurance company, who will then cover various healthcare expenses. You need to have the financial means to cover the monthly insurance payment. In turn, the company will take care of everything else as stated in the insurance policy.
Health insurance policies vary widely from one company to the next. What may be covered in one policy may not be covered in the next, so it’s important to take into consideration all different factors when purchasing the correct self employed health insurance. Some cost less than others but will cover less than one that is more expensive.
As a self employed individual, you’re responsible for purchasing a policy plan and investing in your health. When someone is employed in a company, they will most likely receive health insurance from that company. Because this is not the case with freelancers, you will have to take an extra step into finding the right policy for you and making sure you’re covered.
Unlike freelancers, most consumers receive benefits from their employer who provides them a nice health insurance package. In most cases, your insurance premiums are even partially paid for you by your employer, and in some cases your employer may even pay the entire premium for you. These health insurance coverages provided by companies will take care of the costs for regular health check-ups with your doctor, emergency visits, and many other related health risks and injuries.
Without health insurance, you would be completely responsible for paying the entire cost of your health care visits. This can add up quickly and be very costly, as one-time doctor visits can cost several hundred dollars.
Obtaining self employed health insurance is a necessary component for all freelance workers and self employed individuals. Without it, you are risking the growth of your business, your income, and your success for the unknown future of your health.
You’re considered to be self employed if you currently run your own business, but you are the sole employee. By signing up for a health insurance policy, not only will you receive quality health insurance, but you may get tax credit and savings on various plans. And depending on your income, you may even receive free coverage, if you qualify. You’ll need to be able to predict your future income which can be a bit tricky, however, there are ways in which you can do this.
Luckily, if you’re on a budget, you’ll be able to find health insurance for as little as $198 per month.
The following strategies are great starting points to get the best rates for health insurance:
- The Freelancers Union offers group health insurance options for freelancers, allowing you access to potentially lower premiums. You can also find dental insurance or life insurance on various supplemental plans.
- Group insurance plans are often offered by memberships to groups in your industry.
- If your partner has health insurance provided by their company, then you may be able to get coverage under their policy. One of the benefits of this is that you don’t have to be married to them, but you do have to live in the same house and share a domestic life with them. You cannot be married to anyone else.
- HealthCare.gov is the main marketplace to shop for individual insurance plans. You’ll be able to see various options to different insurance plans and their monthly premiums.
- Cobra coverage offers you coverage if you’re about to leave a job that currently provides you with employee health insurance. You can convert the group plan at your company to an individual plan.
Regardless of your occupation, if you’re self employed, you need health insurance. Otherwise, when unexpected health events occur, you’re in for potentially large doctors bills!
Group Health Insurance for Self Employed Workers
Group health insurance is beneficial in that you’ll receive lower rates than if you were to go on an individual plan. This is when freelancers band together as a group in order to receive group health insurance rates. These groups often have certain requirements in order to be eligible for health coverage, as defined by the health insurance companies. Some of the requirements are a minimum number of members of the group, amongst some others.
Some of the most common places to network for health insurance benefits as a self employed individual are:
- The Freelancers Union– This group is perhaps the largest group for freelancers of all kinds to get access to benefits provided to groups. They have over 375,000 members and have been backed and funded by major organisations such as JP Morgan, Chase, The Rockefeller Foundation, The Prudential Foundation and many others. Membership is free and gives access to a wealth of benefits for all self employed workers, small business owners, entrepreneurs and freelancers.
- Your local Chamber of Commerce– Chamber of commerce groups are groups of small business owners and self employed individuals with a goal to help promote and grow local small business and economic health. Among potential benefits of being a member are possible sponsors that provide health insurance options to the group.
- The Affiliated Workers Association (AWA)– The AWA is a non-profit group of over 7,000 small business owners, self employed individuals, entrepreneurs, and contracted employees. This group provides access to group benefits such as health insurance, life insurance, and other benefits to help small business owners and self employed individuals.
- Alliance for Affordable Services– This is a non-profit organisation that aims to provide means for small business owners and self employed individuals to have access to group related benefits, including health insurance.
- Industry specific groups and organisations– Take a look around and try to find like-minded people that are looking for group health insurance. Through basic networking with other self employed individuals in your industry, you will most likely find a popular group with access to great health insurance benefits.
The reason that larger companies can offer better health insurance coverages at more enticing prices is because they are able to receive group insurance rates.
If you were employed by a company, you would receive comped or reduced price health care because your employer receives group employer rates. The good news is that you can still reap the benefits of group insurance plans even If you’re self employed.
Thankfully, there are groups available that you may be eligible to join, as stated above. The benefits of joining group coverage for health insurance include receiving better rates and benefits than if you were on an individual policy. Being a member of a group allows you to pool your health risks together to get similar benefits that are offered to companies with large amounts of employees who receive group health insurance benefits.
Other things to consider when searching for health insurance:
- Does your spouse work part time or full time? Often times their employer may offer spousal benefits that are much more affordable than if you were to go onto an individual plan.
- HealthCare.gov is the main marketplace to shop for individual insurance plans.
- If you’ve missed the enrollment window for health insurance, then you may want to consider a temporary health insurance plan until you can enroll for the following year. Depending on what state you live in, you may have to pay a penalty if you’re not insured.
Whether it be through a local group, The Freelancers Union, the HealthCare.gov marketplace or even your spouse’s employer benefits, one thing is for sure: proper health insurance coverage is a required aspect of a responsible self employed business plan. This will provide you with peace of mind and one less thing to worry about.