Some freelancers and business owners start their jobs out of necessity. Others go into business for themselves when they find that they can earn a lot more if they eliminate the “middleman”.
In return for higher earnings potential, however, you must independently find and maintain shared employee benefits if you are self-employed. That said, you are responsible for finding health insurance coverage that suits your budget and needs.
Losing employer-sponsored health insurance can be one of the scariest aspects of leaving your day job to start your own business. The good news, however, is that there are several ways you can save money on self-employed health insurance. The following are eight options worth considering.
Reporting with a parent
If you are under 26, you likely qualify as dependent on your parent’s employer-sponsored health plan. Your parents have to choose you. And they can ask you to intervene to clear the bill. However, the payment of your part of a family plan may be less than what you would pay for individual coverage.
For many young people, especially freelancers, joining a parent’s health insurance policy offers the best coverage at the lowest cost. However, reporting with a parent is not always the right choice. Here are three questions to ask before deciding on your parent’s plan.
Coverage with a spouse
If you are married and your spouse has employer-sponsored health insurance, you should check to see if they have you covered. Married individuals are generally not eligible for health insurance grants if their spouse has employer-sponsored health insurance.
That means you would pay the full sticker price for self-employed health insurance on the marketplace, which is very likely higher than the price you would pay for an employer-sponsored plan. For these reasons, you can potentially save hundreds or thousands of dollars by joining your spouse’s plan.
Those who do not qualify for insurance under a parent or spouse’s plan should find out if they qualify for subsidies in the health insurance market. Freelancers and entrepreneurs with an adjusted gross income (AGI) between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty line are generally entitled to subsidized self-employed health insurance.
The subsidies can lead to significant discounts, especially if you have loved ones who also need coverage. A single person (non-dependents) who lives in the lower 48 states and has earned between $ 12,880 and $ 51,520 can qualify for subsidized health insurance. And a family of three making between $ 21,960 and $ 87,840 would also qualify.
You can find subsidized health insurance through HealthCare.gov. Open registration starts in November and lasts until December 15th in most years. However, you can qualify for special enrollment if you recently lost health insurance coverage (even if you quit your job to go freelance).
State health insurance
Self-employed people over the age of 65 can qualify for Medicare health insurance. However, seniors who want additional health insurance would have to pay the premiums for these plans out of their own pocket.
Additional health insurance plans include special insurance for Medicare Part B and Part D or Medicare Advantage health insurance. These are usually affordable options for seniors who qualify.
If you’re just starting out as a freelancer, you might have a year or two on a very low income. If your income is below the federal poverty line, you can qualify for Medicaid, a state-sponsored health insurance plan.
School or part-time employment insurance
In addition to traditional part-time employment or leaving school, many people also have a secondary job. If any of these situations apply to you, you may have more options.
While you are in school, you can qualify for low-cost student health insurance through your university. Contact your Office of Student Health or Office of Student Affairs to learn more about coverage options at the school.
Most employers do not offer health insurance to part-time workers, but some do. Starbucks, Costco, and UPS in particular are known for providing insurance coverage to their part-time workers.
connected: The cheapest health insurance for students
Limited benefit insurance plans
Limited benefit plans do not provide “minimum coverage” as defined by the Affordable Care Act. However, these are insurance products that help offset medical and health-related costs that exceed a certain threshold.
These limited benefit insurances offered by companies like Sidecar Health are specifically designed not to be covered by ACA legislation. While that sounds shady on the surface, these plans often offer much lower premiums. And that can be useful if you are looking for self-employed health insurance.
Since the plans are not regulated by the ACA, with the help of health exams, they can vary prices based on risk. Hence, young and healthy people are likely to get a lot. For standard health insurance, visit HealthCare.gov. However, if affordability is your top priority, limited-benefit insurance plans are a sensible alternative.
Occupation-specific group coverage
Even if you don’t work for a traditional employer, you may be eligible for a group health insurance plan. This is because there are several professional associations and unions that have negotiated group plans for their members.
One example is the Freelancers Union, which offers a variety of health insurance plans in nine states. And members of the National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) get access to world-class insurance plans as well as discounts on vision and prescription drugs and a health savings account (HSA).
No matter what you do for a living, there is likely an association or union dedicated to the workers in your industry. And if the organization serving your profession has attractive health insurance plans, then it alone may be worth joining.
International health insurance
If you spend 330 days or more outside the US each year, you don’t need to get US health insurance. “Digital nomads” or people who reside outside the US can qualify for national health insurance in their new country of residence.
These plans typically cost less than comparable US health insurances, even with the same coverage. Those who do qualify can feel comfortable doing without some form of private health insurance.
Before disposing of your private insurance plan, you should consult a local specialist who can help you purchase a local insurance plan or understand the terms and conditions of qualifying for coverage under the national program. The last thing you want to do is get drop insurance only to find out that you are not covered overseas.
Organizations that share healthcare
Groups that share healthcare do not actually offer insurance. Instead, they allow individuals to share healthcare costs. Members of these organizations pay monthly shares (like an insurance premium) and submit medical bills directly to the organization. The organization or its members pay these bills.
There are 6 major health departments in the United States, all of which have Christian affiliations. From a financial perspective, these major health ministries have strong balance sheets and years of experience in paying claims. In many cases, their monthly costs can be significantly lower than those of traditional self-employed health insurance.
One of the most popular ministries of health is Medi-Share.
However, these organizations often require members to agree to certain lifestyle and belief agreements. Injuries or illnesses resulting from life outside of the agreements may not be covered by the Department of Health. This is a huge risk that people should consider before deciding on any ministry to share health.
Some lesser-known organizations like Knew Health are not based on belief. However, the downside to choosing one of these newer groups is that their long-term financial viability may still be uncertain.