Get Health Insurance as An Independent Contractor

Freelancers make over a third of the United States workforce, and the percentage keeps increasing as we speak. While independent contractors enjoy much freedom and flexibility, being free has a price. Besides the salaries varying greatly from week-to-week and clients being demanding, you will have to find health insurance on your own without the luxury of an employer-based group plan. So, what do you do?

First, finding affordable health insurance shouldn’t be a difficult task even if you are an independent contractor. Based on your budget and your needs, there are many options available out there to keep your health in check.

Short-Term Health Coverage

Short-term policies are convenient and cost much less than major comprehensive medical plans. Short-term medical plans are good to cover gaps left by your insurance. Just keep in mind, these policies may not have the same protections under the ACA as other insurance policies do. So, you need to be in good health to apply for a short-term plan. Also, you will have lifetime and annual caps on benefits. The good news is these policies have lower premiums than traditional plans. Premiums for individuals average $110 compared to an average of $300 for major medical coverage. But you get what you pay for. Also, the penalty for not having health insurance is still applicable, and you may not have coverage for common medical problems.

Group Plans

You and other independent contractors employed by the same company may be able to negotiate rates when you pool your resources. Group plans are generally more affordable than independent plans, but they are limited by the federal government about restrictions on pre-existing conditions. Group coverage may also be available through business associations or the local Chamber of Commerce.

Small Business Plans

When you contract a part-time assistant or have a partner, you may be able to get a small business plan even if you are the only employee in your company. Small business plans have restrictions on denials as a result of pre-existing conditions.

Individual Plans

You can buy an individual plan through the Obamacare Marketplace during open enrollment. Open enrollment ends on December 15, 2019, in most states. Your income, however, is a determining factor since ACA has taxes available to offset the cost of your health coverage. If you are earning a lot as an independent contractor, your premiums could be much higher as you may not qualify for subsidies to reduce the cost.

Health Savings Account (HSA)

This type of account can be a lifesaver. You have control of how your funds are spent, but the funds must be used for qualified medical expenses. The money remains in your account until you use it. Having an HSA is just as paying out-of-pocket so you may be able to negotiate the cost with providers.

Ancillary Coverage

Medical expenses can be substantial if you don’t have proper insurance coverage. If you know you will need a lot of money to cover your health if something goes wrong, think about adding ancillary products to your policy, such as dental, critical illness, and so on. As a self-employed, you may not be able to take time off as you wish so it’s good to take the necessary precautions.

While you are shopping for health insurance, make sure you contact one of our licensed agents to help you find affordable alternatives in your area. 

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