Health insurance options for the self-employed.
Being your own boss comes with many perks, but it also comes with new responsibilities. For instance, you are now responsible for securing your own health insurance coverage. Not sure where to look for this essential type of coverage? Then here are some of the options that you should explore.
Health Insurance Marketplace
Self-employed individuals can secure healthcare coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace. For instance, this coverage option is open to independent contractors, freelancers, contractors, and other types of independent workers that do not have employees.
You can access this coverage option at HealthCare.gov, where you will be asked a series of questions to confirm your eligibility. Once your application is approved, you will have the option to select different coverage plans. Two of the most popular coverage types include the following:
- Higher deductible plans– These plans are some of the most affordable healthcare coverage options available. Because you are paying a higher deductible on this plan, you have lower premiums. This plan is best for people who are in good health and don’t anticipate future accidents. To secure one of these plans, you need to apply within the open-enrollment period.
- Medicaid– Many Americans have access to low-cost or even free healthcare coverage through the Medicaid insurance program. You can qualify for this coverage option if you are low-income, qualify for disability, or are over the age of 65. While you might not qualify for Medicaid based on your income, some states will accept self-employed individuals into this program. There is no enrollment period for Medicaid, so you are free to apply at any time.
If you do not qualify for health insurance through the Marketplace, then you can work directly with different insurance carriers to secure the coverage that you need. If you work with an independent insurance agency, then they have coverage options from multiple carriers. An agent will compare these offerings on your behalf and present you with the best options and allow you to choose the policy that best fits your budget, enrollment window, and other needs.
The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA)
If you are leaving an employer to become self-employed, then you may be eligible to extend your employer-offered healthcare insurance. Under COBRA, you are guaranteed a temporary extension to your healthcare coverage after leaving your job, so long as you pay your plan’s premiums. Please keep in mind that, if your employer was paying a considerable portion of your healthcare coverage before, then COBRA may be a very expensive option once you’re self-employed. However, COBRA is a good temporary option that helps you maintain coverage until you can find a more economical plan.
These are some of the health insurance options that self-employed individuals should explore. Do you need help with your health insurance needs? If so, then contact Nick Agliato (nickAgliato@wilk4800.com) at Steve Wilk Insurance. Check out our new office today at 310 S Main Street, Suite C, Lombard, IL 60148.