Being your own boss, whether you are a sole proprietor, an independent contractor, or a freelancing gig worker does have its benefits. However, one benefit that you do not have the option for health insurance through an employer provided health plan. As recent unprecedented events have shown, you cannot take your or your family’s health for granted. You need to be prepared for the unexpected with health insurance.
It is too risky to hope for the best and plan to pay for health expenses completely out-of-pocket any longer. Your state may also still require you to have health insurance, and if you do not, you will be required to pay a penalty with your state taxes. Therefore, the best option for protecting your and your family’s health and financial future is a self-employed health plan. Here is what you need to know about getting self-employed health insurance.
Take a Moment to Access Your Needs
You will want to choose the best insurance plan to fit your needs. To do so, you need to make an informed choice and consider your personal priorities by asking yourself these questions:
Who do you need to cover on your plan?
Of course, you will be covering yourself. But if you are married, is your spouse able to get health insurance through his or her employer. If your child is a college student, is he or she able to get insurance through their school? It may be more cost-efficient to cover your family members separately with two or more insurance plans.
Can you purchase a group health coverage?
Depending on the state you live in, you may be able to purchase a small business/group health insurance plan even if you do not have any employees. The premiums for this plan are usually less expensive than an individual or family health plan.
Do you live paycheck to paycheck?
Unless you have savings set aside in an emergency fund, you may find it difficult to pay a higher deductible plan. You might want to consider a health plan that has a lower deductible. However, the caveat with that is that your monthly premium will be higher. When possible, you want to go with the highest deductible you can afford to keep your premiums lower.
Do you have pre-existing conditions and visit the doctor often?
If you have a pre-existing condition that requires you do visit your doctor often, you might want to opt for a health plan with a lower copayment and deductible. The tradeoff will be that you will have a higher monthly premium. However, if you are relatively healthy, and rarely need to see your doctor other than a yearly physical, you may save more money each month by choosing a plan with a higher copayment.
What did you spend for your health care in the past year?
You should know how much you spent on your and your family’s health care during the past year. Do you have recurring costs like prescription medications? Do you expect your health care needs to be about the same as last year or to be more or less? You need to select a plan that covers the services that you will extensively use, including covering the prescriptions you take at a copayment that you can afford.
Options for Health Insurance for Self-Employed Individuals
Your income will usually dictate where you will shop for a health plan. You have two options that are regulated under the Affordable Care Act:
- Health Insurance Marketplace. Created by the federal government, the Health Insurance Marketplace is designed to offer health plans to individuals who have lower incomes. This is where you can find out if you qualify for lower premiums or upfront tax credits that lower your monthly premium.
- Private Health Insurance. Insurers, like our company, have plans designed for self-employed individuals who need good and affordable health coverage. With private insurance, you may have a wider range of access to in-network physicians and hospitals with added benefits.
A Major Benefit of Having Self-Employed Health Insurance
If you are a self-employed individual, you can deduct 100% of your health insurance premiums every year from your adjusted gross income if you qualify by:
- Being self-employed and not required to file business taxes separately
- Showing that you do not have any other coverage, including being covered under an employer’s group plan or being qualified to be covered or covered under a spouse’s policy
- Being able to prove you have income from being self-employed
We Are Ready to Help with Your Insurance Needs
Do you need health insurance but still not sure what to do? Take the next step and contact us. We are ready to help you choose the plan that best fits your and your family’s needs.