Being self-employed comes with a host of benefits, including the freedom to set your own schedule and pursue your passions. However, one aspect that often poses a challenge for self-employed individuals is securing adequate health insurance coverage.
Unlike traditional employees who typically have access to employer-sponsored plans, self-employed individuals need to navigate the complex world of health insurance on their own. In this blog post, we will explore the best health insurance for self-employed individuals, allowing them to protect their well-being while maintaining their entrepreneurial pursuits.
Individual Health Insurance Plans
Individual health insurance plans are a popular choice, making it perfect for our list of best health insurance options for self-employed individuals.
These plans are specifically designed to provide coverage for individuals and their families. They offer a range of benefits, including comprehensive medical coverage, access to a wide network of healthcare providers, and the flexibility to choose a plan that suits your specific needs and budget.
Individual health insurance plans can be purchased directly from insurance companies or through state-based health insurance marketplaces, such as the Affordable Care Act’s Health Insurance Marketplace.
Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)
Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) are another valuable option for self-employed individuals. An HSA is a tax-advantaged savings account that allows you to set aside funds for medical expenses.
Contributions to an HSA are tax-deductible, and the funds can be used to pay for qualified medical expenses, including deductibles, copayments, and certain over-the-counter medications. HSAs offer a triple tax advantage: contributions are tax-deductible, earnings grow tax-free, and withdrawals for qualified medical expenses are tax-free.
By combining an HSA with a high-deductible health insurance plan, self-employed individuals can enjoy lower monthly premiums while building a dedicated fund for future medical expenses.
Professional or Trade Associations
Many professional or trade associations, such as your local Chamber of Commerce, offer group health insurance plans specifically tailored for self-employed individuals.
These associations leverage the collective buying power of their members to negotiate competitive rates with insurance providers. By joining a professional or trade association related to your industry, you may gain access to comprehensive health insurance coverage at more affordable rates than what is typically available to individual purchasers.
These group plans often provide a wide range of benefits, including prescription drug coverage, preventative care, and access to a network of healthcare professionals.
The Freelancers Union is an organization dedicated to supporting and advocating for the rights of freelancers and self-employed individuals.
Among their offerings is access to health insurance plans specifically designed for freelancers. The Freelancers Union partners with insurance providers to offer comprehensive health insurance options at competitive rates.
Through the Freelancers Union, self-employed individuals can gain access to a variety of plans, including individual and family coverage, dental and vision insurance, and short-term disability coverage.
Additionally, the Freelancers Union provides resources and support to help freelancers navigate the often complex world of health insurance.
Are There Other Options for the Best Health Insurance for Self-Employed Individuals?
In addition to health insurance options such as individual health insurance plans, Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), professional or trade association plans, and resources like the Freelancers Union, there are some other options to consider:
- Medicaid: Depending on your income level and state of residence, you may qualify for Medicaid, a government program that provides free or low-cost health coverage to eligible individuals and families. Medicaid eligibility criteria vary by state, so it’s important to check the requirements in your specific location.
- COBRA: If you were previously covered under an employer-sponsored health insurance plan and recently left your job, you may be eligible for COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act) continuation coverage. COBRA allows you to maintain your previous employer’s group health insurance plan for a limited period, typically up to 18 months. However, it’s important to note that COBRA can be expensive, as you’re responsible for the full premium without the employer’s subsidy.
- Health Care Sharing Ministries: Health Care Sharing Ministries (HCSMs) are organizations where members with similar beliefs share medical expenses. Although not traditional insurance, HCSMs operate on the premise of members contributing to a pool of funds that are then used to pay for medical expenses of eligible members. It’s crucial to carefully research and understand the specific guidelines, coverage limitations, and eligibility requirements of any HCSM before enrolling.
- Spousal Health Insurance: If you’re married and your spouse has access to an employer-sponsored health insurance plan, you may be able to join their plan as a dependent. This option can provide you with access to comprehensive coverage at potentially lower rates than individual plans.
Remember, each individual’s circumstances and healthcare needs differ, so it’s important to thoroughly research and compare the options available to find the best fit for your specific situation. Consulting with an insurance broker or seeking guidance from a healthcare professional can also help you navigate the complexities of health insurance as a self-employed individual.
(Click the following link for help on how to choose health insurance)
What About 180 Healthcare?
We’re so glad you asked! At 180 Healthcare, we’re not an insurance company, but we are a great fit for anyone looking for the best health insurance options for self-employed individuals. We have three different plans, including primary care for Southeast Missouri residents, Preventative Care plans, and larger medical expenses.
Our Primary Care plan is great for self-employed or freelance individuals as it’s available at a low, fixed monthly fee and includes:
- Unlimited 24/7 Primary Care Doctors With No Copay & No Deductible
- Prescription Discounts
- Discounted Labs & Imaging
- Discounted Dental, Vision, Chiropractic & Physical Therapy
- Discounts at restaurants, salons and retail
- 24/7 Gym Access
- 24/7 Telehealth Services
Our Preventative Care Plan through Health Access Solutions is an incredible add-on to our Primary Care plans, or as a standalone option.
Lastly, our plan for Larger Medical Expenses through Zion HealthShare is a cost-sharing plan for larger medical expenses. Prices typically range from $150 – $625 depending on age, number of individuals on membership, whether or not you also have a DPC (Direct Primary Care) membership, and IUA. An IUA (initial unshareable amount) is the amount you feel comfortable paying on your own, without help from the Zion Community, when a medical need arises.
If you would like to discuss these plans in more detail, contact our team or call us at 1 (573) 803-4661. We’re here to help!
Conclusion: Best Health Insurance for Self-Employed Individuals
As a self-employed individual, securing appropriate health insurance is a crucial step in safeguarding your well-being and financial security.
By exploring the various options available, such as individual health insurance plans, Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), professional or trade association plans, and resources like the Freelancers Union or plans from 180 Healthcare, you can find a solution that suits your unique needs and budget.
It is essential to carefully evaluate the benefits, costs, and coverage limitations of each option to make an informed decision. Remember, investing in comprehensive health insurance coverage is an investment in your long-term health and peace of mind, allowing you to focus on your entrepreneurial endeavors while maintaining the protection you deserve.