Being self-employed comes with many benefits, but one of the challenges is finding affordable health insurance options. Unlike traditional employees who often have access to employer-sponsored health plans, self-employed individuals need to explore other avenues to secure coverage. In this article, we will discuss five health insurance options specifically designed for the self-employed.
Health Insurance Marketplaces
Health insurance marketplaces, also known as exchanges, were established under the Affordable Care Act. These online platforms allow self-employed individuals to compare and purchase health plans. Depending on income, individuals may qualify for subsidies or tax credits to help offset the cost of insurance premiums. Visit healthcare.gov to explore your options.
Catastrophic Health Insurance
Like its name, this type of insurance benefits relatively healthy individuals who primarily want insurance for major medical emergencies. Because their purpose is emergency-driven, these plans have low monthly premiums but high deductibles. They provide coverage for severe illnesses or injuries but don't cover routine healthcare so regular doctor's visits are uncovered.
Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)
HSA plans are high-deductible health insurance plans that are paired with a tax-advantaged savings account. Contributions to the HSA are tax-deductible, and the funds can be used to pay for qualified medical expenses. These plans can be a good choice if you want to save money on premiums and have the ability to cover your routine healthcare costs.
Individual Health Plans
Individual health insurance plans are policies purchased directly from insurance companies. These plans offer a range of coverage options and can be tailored to meet the specific needs of self-employed individuals. Premiums for these plans can vary compared to group plans.
Association Health Plans
Association health plans are designed for independent professionals who belong to a professional or trade association. These plans allow individuals to join a larger group, which can lead to lower premiums and more comprehensive coverage. Association health plans may have specific eligibility requirements based on the association's criteria and may include additional fees or dues for association membership.
Co-Op/Group Health Insurance
Some self-employed individuals or freelancers join co-operatives that use group purchasing power to access health insurance for its members. Platforms like Opolis offer affordable health insurance plans including dental and vision coverage.
While finding affordable health insurance as a self-employed individual can be challenging, there are several options available. Health savings accounts, individual health plans, marketplaces, association health plans, and co-op/group health insurance are all viable choices. It's important for self-employed individuals to carefully evaluate their needs and compare different options to find the best fit for their healthcare coverage.