If you’re self-employed, the responsibility of obtaining health care coverage falls on your shoulders, and there is no one size fits all! Each individual will have different healthcare needs. Luckily, there are plenty of options to choose from. And because health insurance costs can be so expensive, it’s best to shop around so you can find a plan that fits your budget.
While this can be a daunting task for anyone, especially those unfamiliar with health care insurance, below are some of the basics to help get you started.
Where do you begin to find health insurance when you’re self-employed?
The first place many self-employed individuals go is the federal government’s healthcare marketplace, also known as Obamacare or the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Here you can browse various policies and compare the different health plans offered. There are five categories available;
Catastrophic- available to those under 30, these plans have the lowest premiums. They are best for people who want coverage for major medical procedures but expect to use their insurance sparingly. Insurance covers 50% of the fees.
Bronze- Insurance covers 60% of fees
Silver- Insurance covers 70% of fees
Gold- Insurance covers 80% of fees
Platinum- the most expensive of coverage. While you’ll pay the highest monthly premium, your deductible will be the lowest, allowing insurance to cover 90% of fees. This option is best for people with prior health conditions who expect to visit doctors often.
The ACA’s website can also connect you with an agent who can assist in finding a policy that best suits you. You can also find out if you qualify for government-sponsored health insurance (Medicaid) here. To be eligible for Medicaid, your income must be below a certain level. That amount varies from state to state and will change based on the number of other family members living in the household. Open enrollment for ACA typically lasts from November 1st through January 15th.
Another excellent way to find health care coverage is through a professional or trade association. By becoming a member of such organizations, you can obtain low-cost insurance and other resources. See what insurance options are available from the Association for Entrepreneurship.
Some things to factor to consider while shopping for a health insurance policy include the following:
- Premiums: your monthly payment should work with your budget.
- Deductibles: Typically, plans with higher deductibles will have low premiums, so you must consider whether it fits your budget. Can you afford to pay more upfront should a health emergency arise?
- Copays: Note how much copays will cost for each service, such as in-office visits, hospital stays, and prescriptions.
- Customer satisfaction: Look for health insurance companies with high satisfaction ratings and excellent customer reviews. This can clue you in on how well they’ll provide services to you.
How much will health insurance cost when you’re self-employed?
That depends. Different insurance companies will offer different prices. The most significant factors that could influence your premium prices are your age, your state, if you are a smoker, if you want individual or family benefits, and the plan category.
Being self-employed doesn’t mean you need to go without keeping up to date with your health. It would be best if you were proactive and well-informed. Just be sure to look into all options thoroughly to find the plan that fits your needs best.
Content Writer and Researcher