Best Freelance Health Insurance Options
With more than 57 million freelancers, the American economy involves 35% contribution from its freelancing community (according to a 2019 survey). Freelancing Business apparently seems to be free of any time restrictions or workplace restrictions. However, the freelancers are also at various risks with regard to their property, health and professional dealings. As it is evident that freelancers or self-employed people can’t get any health coverage through their employer, they always remain anxious and confused about any unexpected health emergency. But this article is going to be a complete guide for your important and urgent health insurance which discusses in detail (health insurance for freelancers).
If you are a freelancer, self-employed individual, or private contractor who is concerned about having to bear your own health-care costs in the event of a catastrophic illness, you may put your anxieties and concerns to rest because this article will explain numerous health insurance choices for freelancers.
The 8 Best Practical Options for Freelancers’ Health Insurance
Let us get straight into the 8 best possible health insurance choices that freelancers can avail to save their budget in case of any serious health crisis.
1. Approach the Health Insurance Marketplace
Thanks to the Affordable Care Act enabled self-employed individuals, freelancers, and private contractors to get a health coverage plan through the health insurance marketplace or a state-owned health insurance marketplace. The major beneficiaries of this catchy plan are either self-employed individuals or small business owners.
The marketplace health insurance plans are classified into four different categories, and each category has its unique offering at its own premium costs. Normally, it is seen as a common practice that ACA open enrollments commence from the November days every year. However, the ACA plans purchased by mid of December, 15th of December to be more exact, would generally commence from the 1st of January of each year.
In case you have just missed the opportunity to get enrolled in the November ACA Plan because of some unavoidable issue, then you still have a lucky chance to check your eligibility whether you qualify for a special enrollment period or not. There are various situations that make you eligible for the special enrollment period. For instance, if you have lost an employer’s health coverage plan or gave birth to a child or married recently, then you can be eligible to find a chance for a Marketplace health insurance plan through a special enrollment period.
Related: If you are looking to get maternity insurance and want to know about an insurance plan, the policy then find out how to get maternity insurance during pregnancy.
How can the healthcare marketplace help you?
The healthcare marketplace helps you by providing a comparison and contrast among the different health insurance plans available. If you are still confused and find yourself on the fence to make a wise decision regarding the best health insurance for you, then it will refer you to a person, generally known as a “navigator”, who would give you a detailed orientation by showing you pros and cons of each plan.
Most freelancers would prefer marketplace health coverage plans because all of the plans listed on the exchange would cover 100 per cent preventive coverage, which cannot be nullified because of an already existing condition.
Categories of Marketplace Health Insurance Plans
Let us explore the four categories of the Marketplace Health Insurance Plan one by one.
A) Bronze Plan
It is the cheapest plan that anyone with a minimum monthly income can purchase. In this plan, an individual has to pay the lowest premium, but the company will also pay less at the time of medical care needs. It perfectly suits to those freelancers who can pay low monthly premiums. This will benefit them by covering the medical expenditures for some serious disease, but for routine healthcare expenditures, they have to pay by themselves.
B) Silver Plan
Silver Plan is moderately devised that provides a reasonable monthly payable premium and decent health coverage at the time of medical needs. This plan will help you by paying more for your medical needs as compared to that of the Bronze Plan. However, the monthly premium costs are a little higher than the Bronze one. This plan may also help you in covering some of your routine medical expenses alongside serious ailments.
C) Gold Plan
The Gold Plan would ask you to pay high premium amounts on a monthly basis, but you will have to make very negligible payments in case of any health emergency. This plan will also benefit the individuals by covering most of their daily routine healthcare expenses in parallel with the serious health disorders that they are likely to face at any stage of their life.
D) Platinum Plan
The Platinum Plan involves the highest monthly premium costs, but it will require you to pay almost nothing or very less amount in case of any health crisis. This plan, though expensive, provides the best coverage plans for day-to-day medical care needs and any serious disease or ailment.
2. Look for Your Spouse’s Health Coverage Policy
It is quite fortunate to have a spouse who is working for some employer or company and is getting health coverage through the employer. If you are working as a self-employed individual or a freelancer and your spouse (either wife or husband) is doing a government job are employed by some affluent employer or a company, then it is very likely that he or she will be getting a health coverage through their employer. You can join his or her health coverage plan. For that purpose, your spouse has to contact the company’s human resources department or the concerning insurance company to adjust you into the plan as well.
This option can even serve you better than the government-owned health insurance policy because in this case employer would cover a considerably greater percentage of the total medical expenditure when you need it.
In case you are unmarried but sharing the same residence with some other partner who is employed by some company or any employer, then you can join him is his health coverage plan through his employer. It will be easier for you to qualify for the employer-based health coverage plan than that of the health insurance marketplace.
3. COBRA Health Insurance Plan
If you have recently left your full-time job and started off your freelancing career or self-employed job or business, then you are provided with an option to continue your previous job-based or employer-based health insurance for one and half years. Your previous insurer is responsible for providing you with the necessary information and checking your eligibility for the COBRA coverage.
COBRA health coverage is a short term solution and expensive too at the same time. In fact, you have to pay all the premium costs by yourself in an Individual COBRA Plan, unlike the employer-based health coverage where the employer would make a major contribution to pay a large sum for your medical needs. Moreover, the COBRA Plans are also more expensive than the Health Insurance Marketplace Plans. Therefore, you can compare and contrast the risks and benefits of the COBRA Plans and the Health Insurance Marketplace Plans (as you can also be eligible for a special enrollment period for Marketplace Plans).
Related: If you lost your health insurance, or want to know recover your lost/cancel health insurance plan, and policy then find out how to recover lost health insurance (Complete Guide)
One thing that you must bear in your mind is that COBRA Plans are just a temporary remedy for your problem. Nonetheless, the COBRA Coverage will help you in continuing your health insurance policy so that it would bridge the gap between your old coverage and the new coverage. Therefore, you will be able to continue your health coverage policy without any lapse in coverage.
4. Group Insurance Through Workmen Associations
When you freelance, it is usual practice to operate in teams and unions to manage or handle the unmanageable volume job. Many freelancers form a fraternity in order to thrive and prosper together. Furthermore, the majority of freelancers are growth-oriented, and they try to manage their work and time in a sensible manner to guarantee that their freelance trip runs well without affecting the health of their firm. As a result, there is a probability that they will form a partnership to design a sound strategy for obtaining adequate health coverage to cover any potential health bills. In that instance, freelancers may be able to acquire some group insurance health coverage through one of the many insurance agencies that provide these services.
The Freelancers Union, which also provides health coverage to freelancers, is one of the most remarkable examples of group insurance.
5. Check Out Eligibility for Medicaid
If none of the other options works for the freelancers due to any reason, then they must check out their eligibility for Medicaid. Medicaid is a government-owned health insurance scheme that is chiefly focused on the wellbeing of poor people. It grants special coverage to those people whose monthly income is below a certain level. However, the eligibility criteria of this insurance plan also varies with respect to the total family members and dependent family members of your family.
Furthermore, if you have got some dependent family members who are under age, i.e. below 18 years, then you must look for the Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP). The CHIP is quite similar to the Medicaid; nonetheless, it is specifically designed for the children.
6. Short Term Health Insurance Plan
If lost all the others, then freelancers must look towards the Short Term Health Insurance Plans as a last option. These are in fact, the temporary health coverage plans which the self-employed individuals or the freelancers can seek if they have missed the opportunity for open enrollment or even a special enrollment period for the Marketplace Health Insurance Plans. However, this plan can only help in covering the costs of some serious medical emergencies for a short period of time. Moreover, it will not cover any daily routine trivial medical expenses.
How much would health insurance cost the freelancers?
The monthly premium costs for health coverage would definitely vary from company to company and plan to plan. However, an estimated average price for reasonable health coverage for the freelancer would be somewhere around $300 to $400.
What should the freelancers consider before buying a health insurance?
The freelancers are suggested to consider enrolling themselves on the Marketplace Health Insurance before contacting any private insurance provider. It is because Marketplace Health Insurance may have some subsidized plans for the consumers. Moreover, it is also advisable that not to opt for COBRA immediately soon after losing the previous job. Freelancers are again referred to prefer Marketplace health insurance over the COBRA Plans.
What is the significance of temporary health insurance plans for the freelancers?
The Short Term Health Insurance Plans are only helpful if the freelancers or self-employed individuals just want to bridge the gap between the previous health coverage and the new one without any lapse.
What are some risks a freelancer may face without any health coverage?
A freelancer would always remain vulnerable to pay heavy medical bills in case of meeting a dreadful road accident, some serious prolonged ailment, any costly surgery and frequent visits to their physician.
Can a freelancer find a group health insurance?
There are many freelancers fraternities who have made freelancer unions. So a freelancer may join the association or union to get a group of health insurance that is being offered by numerous health insurance providers.
The foregoing discussion concludes that freelancers, like any other professional, are exposed to health problems and risks.
As a result, it would be prudent for them to seek out some of the top health insurance choices for freelancers in 2022 in order to keep their financial equation in check in the event of an unforeseen catastrophic health problem.