Affordable Health Insurance Options for the Self Employed
If you are self employed, there are some options to keep in mind when looking for affordable health insurance.
You may be able join a group plan as a member of a professional, religious, or other type of association. Churches, alumni, and bar associations often offer their members group health insurance. Additionally, if you are a member of the Chamber of Commerce and are self employed, you might find more affordable health insurance through that group as well.
Consider a catastrophic health insurance plan. A catastrophic health plan might be a good option for you if you are self employed. You can buy these if you are under 30, or if you are over 30 with a hardship exemption. Catastrophic plans generally have a lower monthly premium but may only cover costs after you've used a lot of care. This type of plan covers three primary care visits per year at no cost and offers certain preventive services at no out-of-pocket cost. Also, they generally require you to pay all of your medical costs up to a certain amount. That's why a plan like this might be best if you are not on a lot of medications and do not visit the doctor often except for wellness visits.
Join your spouse's current plan if you can. Consider joining your spouse's health insurance plan if they are covered through their employer. There's a good chance that joining their plan will still cost less than what you might have to pay for an individual policy.
An individual policy. Don't hesitate to consider an individual policy. Remember, in general, that the higher the health insurance premium, the lower out-of-pocket expenses you pay. The most affordable health insurance choice for the self employed will depend on your individual situation.
For example, you might expect many doctor visits or need regular medications. In this case, you may want a plan with a higher monthly premium that includes better coverage for doctor visits and medications.
If you’re healthy, the most affordable health insurance plan to fit your self employed status may be a plan that features higher deductibles than traditional insurance plans. High deductible health plans (HDHPs) can be combined with a health savings account (HSA) or a health reimbursement arrangement. These will allow you to pay for qualified out-of-pocket medical expenses on a pre-tax basis.
Start a Health Savings Account (HSA). A health savings account is an account that is linked to a high-deductible health plan. If you are eligible for an HSA, all of the money that you contribute to your qualified HSA belongs to you and can only be spent on qualified medical expenses. With an HSA, you can save in three ways. This is because the money you deposit in the account is tax deductible, the interest or other earning on the assets in the account are tax-free, and you don't pay taxes on withdrawals if they are used for qualified medical expenses.
Additional Health Insurance Options
If you’re near retirement age, consider your ex-employer’s plan. Some people who took an early retirement package can still buy health insurance from their previous employer. This may not be the most affordable health insurance option for the self employed. However, these plans can have good benefits. It might make sense to choose such a plan to fill the gap until Medicare kicks in at age 65.
COBRA. Under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA), employers with 20 or more employees must offer health and dental coverage for up to 18 months after you leave your job. However, you'll pay the entire cost of coverage (more than you paid when you were an employee), plus an administrative fee. This choice can provide health insurance for self employed people, but it might not be the most affordable choice. Whether you choose this depends on your specific use of health care services.
It’s a lot to consider, and Unity can help. Get a Quote and Compare Plans Today!