Being self-employed comes with many perks, such as being your own boss and having control over your schedule. However, one of the biggest challenges of being self-employed is finding and affording health insurance. As a small business owner, you have several options for health insurance coverage. In this article, we’ll explore the different options for health insurance for self-employed individuals and help you navigate the often-confusing world of health insurance.
1. Marketplace health plans
The Health Insurance Marketplace, also known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace, is a good place to start when looking for health insurance. This marketplace allows self-employed individuals to purchase health insurance plans that fit their needs and budget. You can compare plans, prices, and benefits to find the best option for you. In addition, you may qualify for a tax credit or subsidy to help lower your monthly premiums.
2. Association Health Plans
Association Health Plans (AHPs) are another option for self-employed individuals. AHPs allow small businesses to band together and purchase health insurance as a group. This can help to lower premiums and provide more coverage options. The Association for Entrepreneurship USA offers AHPs to its members. Joining the Association can give you access to affordable health insurance, as well as other resources to help grow your business.
3. COBRA coverage
COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act) is a federal law that allows you to keep your employer-sponsored health insurance for a limited time if you lose your job or leave your job voluntarily. As a self-employed individual, you may be eligible for COBRA coverage if you had health insurance through a previous employer. However, COBRA premiums can be expensive, so it’s important to consider other options.
If you have a low income, you may qualify for Medicaid, a government-run health insurance program. Eligibility varies by state, so it’s important to check with your state’s Medicaid program to see if you qualify.
5. Private Health Insurance
Another option for self-employed individuals is to purchase private health insurance. Private health insurance plans are available from a variety of providers, and you can choose from a range of coverage options and costs. However, private health insurance can be expensive, and you may not have access to the same benefits as employer-sponsored plans.
As a self-employed individual, it’s important to understand your options for health insurance. Whether you choose a marketplace plan, AHPs, COBRA coverage, Medicaid, or private health insurance, make sure you choose a plan that fits your needs and budget. Don’t forget to factor in the cost of deductibles, copays, and other out-of-pocket expenses.