5 Things You Need to Know before Purchasing Health Insurance
It is estimated that nearly sixteen million people are self-employed in the US today. For many people, being self-employed is an ideal lifestyle. You get to be your own boss, make your own schedule, and live wherever you decide to set up shop.
Even though you might not trade the self-employed lifestyle for anything, some daunting steps go along with being your own employer. Thankfully, finding health insurance is not as difficult as you would think. As you’re sure to know from starting your own business, it’s always in your best interest to explore all the options to make the best decision.
Here are five things you need to know about finding self-employed health insurance.
1. Self-Employed Health Insurance is Affordable
One major misconception about finding your own health insurance as a self-employed worker is that insurance will be more expensive than working for somebody else. That simply isn’t true. You can find cheap self-imployed health insurance.
Even though you are self-employed, you are still eligible to apply for insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace. When you fill out an application through the Marketplace, you will be expected to put your estimated net income as a self-employed individual. That information will assist in providing you with the most affordable options.
You can also buy a plan directly through private health insurance companies. When doing this, it’s best to know what kind of plan you want before contacting the company. That way, you are most likely to get the best deal possible. However, some private companies will require you to go through a health insurance agent to purchase a plan.
Whether you are buying insurance through the Marketplace or going directly through a private insurance company, there are insurance plans for all budgets, depending on what kind of coverage you need. If you do not need special medical care or surgery, a high deductible low premium plan may be the right way to go for you.
2. Think Outside the Box of Tradition Health Insurance
If you don’t think traditional insurance is right for you, consider a cost-sharing plan. Many of these plans are associated with religious organizations, but not all of them have strict requirements. One popular cost-sharing insurance plan requires sponsorship from a local pastor that confirms you attend their church.
With a cost-sharing plan, you pay each month to the group, similar to any other traditional insurance plan. Then, you will pay a co-pay at the doctor’s office. The cost-sharing group will pay for the rest of the costs.
Another option for insurance is to get insurance through a freelancing union. Many unions and industry associations have group rates specifically designed to meet the budgets and needs of self-employed individuals.
3. You Can Get Coverage Through a Spouse or Partner
If your spouse or domestic partner receives insurance through a job, you might be able to receive the same coverage through their company insurance policy. To receive this type of insurance, you may have to sign a document that proves you are not offered insurance through any other company or job. You will also have to prove that you and the person you are planning on sharing an insurance plan have lived together for at least six months and are not married to anyone else. Stipulations for what qualifies as a domestic partner are different in each state. But typically, even unmarried individuals who have lived together for some time and share bills will qualify.
If possible, this is a very good option for self-employed workers. If your partner’s company does not supply insurance for spouses or domestic partners, there’s no harm in asking. It actually does not cost companies any extra money to add spouses to their insurance plans.
4. You Don’t Have to Wait for Open Enrollment, You Can Get Short-Term Insurance
If you’re in between health insurance plans, can’t decide which direction you want to go, and open enrollment is months away, not to fear. You can actually receive short-term insurance for those times in between.
Short-term insurance plans are exactly as described. Because they are not meant to be used for more than a few months, they are not held to the same requirements outlined in the Affordable Care Act. That means they do not have to cover preexisting conditions. They also have higher deductibles than traditional health insurance providers.
However, short-term insurance plans are great for self-employed workers who only need coverage for a short while. Most short-term plans will cover doctor’s visits, urgent care, and prescription medications.
5. Use an Agent to Find Self-Employed Insurance
You are your own boss, and it’s no surprise if you’re too busy to search through all the health insurance options out there. That’s where a health insurance agent comes in handy. Insurance agents have access to more healthcare plans than you might have access to, which means they can find the one that best suits your needs.
Using an agent to find self-employed insurance will not cost you any more than it will find your own insurance. Like a real estate agent, they are paid a commission by the insurance companies themselves. They are experienced with all the wording and normal operations of insurance companies. So, if you find yourself overwhelmed by the process, getting the help of a qualified health insurance agent is your best option.
Don’t Give Up!
Finding the best self-employed health insurance for your needs is important. Health insurance isn’t just a nice thing to have. It’s a priority. Plus, it provides peace of mind that you’ll be covered for whatever life throws at you.
It’s National Insurance Direct’s mission to make finding self-employed health insurance easy and affordable for every person, including self-employed people. For more information on how we can help you find insurance, contact us.