Health Insurance for Freelancers: How to Get Covered Without Going Broke
Did you know that in 2017 the number of U.S. freelancers was 57.3 million?
This means that more people are choosing to make their own rules and be their own boss.
Freelancing is, well… freeing, but that freedom isn’t cheap.
But we’re here to help.
Here’s how to get health insurance for freelancers without going broke.
Health Insurance for Freelancers: Get Covered Without Going Broke
Health insurance for freelancers can be a bit complicated. It’s a great idea to educate yourself on the topic to know your options in and out before making a decision. Several of the options listed below you can combine to also help keep healthcare costs down.
Freelancers Union has been around since 1995. It’s free to join and has a whole section for insurance that launched in 2008.
In 2014, they launched their National Benefits Platform. This gave freelancers across the nation access to different benefits. Including health and dental insurance. Before 2014, their healthcare was only available in select states.
There are quite a few options, and with approximately 25,000 independent workers insured through freelancers union, there is something available for almost everyone.
This option is worth looking into if you visit the doctor frequently. There are doctors that charge a monthly rate and you get unlimited visits. Keep in mind this is specifically to see the doctor, meaning hospital and pharmacy costs are separate.
This option is a perfect alternative for someone that has a medical condition that requires them to see the doctor on a weekly or even monthly basis.
Healthcare as a Business
If you have your freelancing company registered through your state as a business, this option might work best for you. You would be able to get health insurance at lower rates not only for yourself but also for your family and any employees you might have.
Every state varies and their options can change annually. This might be less expensive than an individual/family plan, or it might be more depending on where you live.
Spouse’s Health Insurance
If you are married or have a domestic partner with health insurance, then this might be an option for you to consider and compare. If you are not legally married to someone else, share the same home and live together you may qualify as a domestic partner. As a domestic partner, you may qualify to be on the same health insurance plan.
Local Chamber of Commerce
If your freelance profession has associations, you may be able to get group insurance through these kinds of memberships. You will want to research self-employed worker associations or independent worker associations.
These group insurance options are like the kind of group insurance you would get through a traditional employer. In this case, the individuals of these groups come together to bring the rates down as a group.
Recent Change of Employment
If you became a freelancer recently after leaving your traditional job with health insurance, most health insurance plans offer the option to convert your existing group plan into an individual plan. The costs of individual plans tend to be higher than the group plans, but working for yourself will more than likely save costs such as uniforms and commute expenses which can be used to cover the difference.
If you are considering leaving your job to become an independent worker or freelance worker, you can also do your research with your current health care to see if you qualify for a special enrollment period. This varies by states and healthcare providers.
This might be an option if you are a freelancer with little income or starting a solo business with little income. This option, if you qualify, would give you either low-cost health insurance or free health insurance.
As your income increases, you make the appropriate changes to your plan and you will get the savings you qualify for based on income increase. This option is great when first starting out as a freelancer as you work your way up the income ladder.
Why Worry about Health Insurance?
As a freelancer, your risk is higher because if you get sick and are not able to work, you are still responsible for medical bills and any medications you need plus your living expenses. This also means if you get sick and are unable to work you also don’t get paid. Without a group health insurance plan that you receive with a traditional job, having your own is important.
This is a serious concern for freelance workers and the risk of losing homes and cars is very much possible in a life-changing unfortunate health event. It’s possible to insure yourself against these risks there is a detailed further explanation here.
Feeling More Knowledgeable about Health Insurance Yet?
Although being a freelancer is liberating and you set your own hours and are your own boss, you don’t want to worry about health insurance during an emergency and make rushed decisions. Getting informed ahead of time before anything happens gives you time to made educated and not rushed decisions.
With the list above you should feel more confident when making your healthcare decision. Health insurance for freelancers depends on a person’s individual situation and their healthcare needs. This makes everyone’s situation different.
Do you want more information about insurance for freelancers and similar topics for freelancers? Check out our blog for more useful content about working independently as a freelancer.