Are you considering ditching your nine-to-five traditional job and going into business as a freelancer? Perhaps you’re already self-employed and struggling with purchasing health insurance coverage. After all, choosing the right insurance provider and the right policy is tough.
In fact, the stress of purchasing a health insurance cover is enough to make freelancers consider going back to conventional employment where the employer has an insurance plan. Before you let health insurance anxieties alter your freelancing career, here are six critical tips for organizing health insurance as a freelancer.
Health insurance and freelancing is an exciting proposition. The benefits definitely outweigh the stress of the initial purchasing decision.
Consult the Experts
Get in touch with an insurance agent who has had experience providing health plans for freelancers. Note that not every agent out there can deal with intricacies around health insurance plans for on-demand workers, digital nomads, remote workers, and self-employed individuals.
At the same time, take time to educate yourself by reading online resources like the HealthMarkets medicare and insurance articles. This way, you’ll save yourself plenty of headaches.
Health Insurance Cost for Freelancers
Unfortunately, there is no single number to the rate health insurance will cost – everyone’s rate will vary. Before you start worrying, the Department of Health and Human Services estimated that the average American paid $106 per month after subsidies. Plus, there are also other ways of finding affordable health insurance.
Income is Variable
As a freelancer, paychecks are not the same each month, which makes it difficult for freelancers to budget for health insurance premiums. Your best option is to find a plan with low monthly premiums and low deductibles.
Don’t be afraid of shopping around and asking for advice from fellow freelancers within your network. In fact, you can even combine two insurance products to ensure that you get adequate coverage.
How to Get Health Insurance as a Freelancer
If you were recently employed and enjoyed health insurance coverage, you should speak to your previous insurer without getting grandfathered into your old policy. Fortunately, most health insurance plans on the market have an option to convert your group plan into an individual plan after leaving a job. If you are planning to leave your job, make sure you check whether you qualify for a special enrollment period.
Since the Affordable Care Act (ACA, Obamacare), health insurance is available via the healthcare Marketplace for individuals or small businesses. While most freelancers don’t fall into the small business category, it’d help to check out the requirements now in case your business grows.
Another good option to consider is your spouse’s health insurance, and it can save you money. You might not be legally married, but you qualify as a domestic partner sharing the same home. The only thing is that you should not be married to anyone else.
If your freelancing profession has associations, you should be in a position to get group insurance thanks to memberships. Group insurance allows individuals to get together as self-employed worker groups that receive the same kind of group insurance you’d get through an employer.
Check Payout Caps When Shopping for Insurance Coverage
It’s easy to get excited when you find affordable premiums and deductibles in a health insurance cover, only to find out later that payouts are capped at low amounts. You need health insurance that will cover major healthcare expenses and basic doctor visits. Just because you can afford the monthly premiums doesn’t mean your coverage will adequately cover you when diagnosed with serious health conditions.
Are There Short-Term Health Insurance Plans for Freelancers?
Unfortunately, short-term health insurance plans don’t offer you the benefit of options available under ACA plans. However, a short-term plan might be a temporary solution if you missed the open enrollment period and don’t want to pay medical costs until you are ACA covered. Doing this might attract an ACA minimum coverage penalty if you don’t carry coverage for at least 9 months in a year.
Purchasing health insurance is usually a stressful part of being a freelancer. While the freedom of managing your own hours is exhilarating, this freedom does come with its own challenges. Pay attention to the tips above and you’ll feel much more comfortable while purchasing health insurance as a freelancer.
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