Being self-employed has many benefits. You set your own hours, you answer to yourself, you have the freedom and flexibility to set your daily schedule as you wish. However, along with the benefits comes an equally long list of challenges of running your own business.
For the purpose of this post, we are defining self-employed as owning your own business without any employees. Small businesses have a whole different set of options. Remember, these are just options. We recommend consulting with an independent insurance professional to find out what is the best option for you!
If you are self-employed and are set up as a sole proprietorship, independent contractor, freelancer or consultant, and are looking for health insurance, here are a few options available to you.
The marketplace, Obamacare as some refer to it, is a good place to start. You’ll start by filling out an application where you will enter in your personal information and financial data. From there you can find out if you qualify for any credits or discounts which are based on things like household size and income.
2) Cost Sharing
There are many healthcare cost sharing options out there. Now that the penalty for not having traditional healthcare has been repealed, these plans might make sense, especially if you are in good health. Be careful, this is not traditional health insurance. However, you can likely save some money if you have a higher income and are in good health.
If you have a lower income, the tax credits or medicaid options would likely make healthcare.gov your best bet. If you do not qualify for tax credits, cost sharing might provide the most value to you. The programs typically do not provide coverage for preexisting conditions while healthcare.gov would.
Popular cost sharing companies include: Liberty HealthShare, CHM, Medi-Share, and Samaritan Ministries.
Be sure with cost sharing programs, that you know what you are getting into. They do not work like traditional insurance, so copays, deductibles, the way you negotiate your bills, are all very different. Many plan participants report saving thousands of dollars in the long term, but it is not for everyone. Be sure to do your research and talk to your insurance professional!
If you recently left a job, you might be qualified for the insurance plan you had while you were employed. COBRA allows for 36 months of access to the same health insurance plan you had while you were employed, although the cost is likely going to be much higher. This will at least buy you some time while you search for other plans.
Hopefully we’ve given you a few options to think about while you are searching for health insurance plans as a self-employed individual. Please give us a call if you have further questions! We have insurance specialists we can refer you too!