Traditionally, freelancers have had a lot of difficulty getting health insurance.
Here in the United States, the vast majority of health insurance coverage is associated with an employer. Employers use their size and scope as extra buying leverage, allowing them to qualify for insurance an individual would be unable to buy alone.
For freelancers, this has usually created a problem.
Freelancers who go on working a “day job” will continue to qualify for care through their employer. But those who achieve some success and want to turn their moonlighting into their primary source of income can have a difficult transitional period ahead of them.
In years past, it has not been unusual for freelancers to have limited access to health insurance. This is true no matter whether they are considered a sole proprietor or form a corporation. Even though an organization may be a corporation, it is the number of people associated with it that counts.
Many insurers are not structured to work with individual policyholders. They center their business on larger organizations. Oddly enough, it would add more overhead to their operations if they worked directly with individuals than it would to add a major enterprise to their customer base.
Sadly, this has meant many freelancers have been confronted with medical bills at a time when they had minimal or no coverage. In some cases, people who could function effectively as freelancers choose not to because they have family members who depend on their existing coverage.
However, new health insurance options are finally appearing for freelancers.
Freelancers Now Have Access to More Health Insurance Options Than Ever Before
The introduction of the Affordable Care Act created an alternate approach that allows people who don’t have employee-associated health insurance to shop for coverage. Among the millions of Americans who choose an ACA-compliant plan, many of them are freelancers.
ACA-compliant plans are designed to be easy to compare and navigate. The “metal tier” system gives you an idea of what each plan will cover and what investment should be expected. Likewise, there are various healthcare needs that all ACA-compliant plans are required to cover.
While this has been a terrific opportunity for many freelancers, it’s not right for everyone.
With that in mind, many freelancers continue to look for other opportunities. Some are motivated by the desire to extend better coverage to family members, while others simply want to save more money. No matter the case, other alternatives to the ACA plans are emerging.
Freelancer-Focused Organizations Can Provide More Health Insurance Options
Intermediary organizations have developed over time to cater to the needs of freelancers. Some of these function as loose “professional associations.” They allow membership from various kinds of freelancers, often crossing lines between traditional industries.
Members of these organizations can work together as a unit to get group health insurance plans they would otherwise be barred from. One of the services provided by the organizations, which generally collect dues from members, is to coordinate health insurance options based on member needs.
That said, no overarching national organization provides this kind of service. As a freelancer, you may need to do quite a lot of networking to figure out what options are available to you. This can be a tall order for a busy freelancer with deadlines and family obligations to stay ahead of.
As dizzying as selecting health insurance can be, it gets more complex when you are an independent operator. The best way to make the whole process easier is to use help from a third-party expert you can trust. But where can you go to get the kind of advice you need?
Calling an insurance agent working for an established provider will get you plenty of details about that company’s products. But, from the agent’s point of view, the purpose of the conversation is to make a sale. Even if freelancers are welcome, you won’t get the unbiased or impartial facts you need.
Luckily, there is a way to lay the foundation for a faster and more effective health insurance decision.
Freelancers like you should work with a local health insurance broker to get the information you need.
The Best Way to Maximize Your Options Is by Consulting a Local Health Insurance Broker
Most freelancers in Central Florida and beyond aren’t aware that health insurance help is a phone call away. Don’t pick up the phone and call an insurance agent or dial the Affordable Care Act hotline; just get in touch with your friendly local health insurance broker.
What is a health insurance broker?
These independent health insurance professionals are advisors and troubleshooters that anyone can use. They develop deep knowledge of all the different health insurance options available in a certain area so they can match their clients to the very best choice in every situation.
Unlike a conventional insurance agent, a health insurance broker is not obligated to sell products from one company or another. In fact, commercial health insurance from a traditional agency is only one of the many options they can make available for their clients.
Just as with freelancer “mutual aid” organizations, there are many different groups representing all walks of life that can offer health insurance. They may be available to people in certain professions, those who are from certain areas, or they might rely on many other factors.
A health insurance agreement through one of these organizations can provide policies every bit as good as what you would expect to get through an employer. But since many of them do not advertise actively – or promote to the public at all – it would be difficult to know that you qualify.
In situations like these, it’s your health insurance broker to the rescue.
Expand Health Insurance Coverage Horizons for You and Your Family
When it comes to the question “Can freelancers get health insurance coverage for themselves and their families?” the answer is a resounding yes! But health insurance agencies aren’t beating a path to your door. Just as with everything else in the freelancing world, you need to be proactive.
But that doesn’t mean you have to do it all alone.
We know – so much of the stress of comparing health insurance options comes from the fact that you are on your own. There are so many details to review and a simple oversight seems like it might have devastating consequences. With a local health insurance broker, it can be stress-free.
Instead of feeling like you are navigating a minefield of potential traps and pitfalls, you can have the relaxing experience of choosing between options selected with you in mind. The decision is always yours, but your health insurance broker simplifies things by highlighting plans based on your needs.
Whether you’re just beginning your freelance journey or you’re an experienced hand, you really can have peace of mind when it comes to personal insurance for freelancers. Writers, artists, performers, and technology professionals of all kinds are finding affordable health insurance.
Contact us to begin.