Typically, jobs offer healthcare as part of their hiring package. But what happens when you're self-employed? Navigating the world of healthcare is tricky enough, and doing it all on your own can be even more daunting. Luckily, there are now plenty of health insurance options and policies for the self-employed, perfect for independent workers and entrepreneurs alike.
Whether you travel a lot, have a family to cover, or want coverage on a tight budget, there's a plan for everyone's lifestyle. So if you're passing on the lifestyle of a traditional workforce, here's a great place to start your search for your perfect self-employed health insurance option:
Health Insurance Marketplace.
If you're a single freelancer or contractor without any other employees, then the Health Insurance Marketplace can be a great starting point. To see if you are eligible, you can simply apply online by answering a few questions about your employment status and area of residence.
There are two main plans to consider under the Health Insurance Marketplace: A higher deductible with lower premiums, or Medicaid. With the higher deductible plan, the premium payment is lower, but it works best for those in generally good health without anticipation of trauma or accidents in the future. For Medicaid, the requirements are stricter, with most eligibility based on age (65+) and low-income status. However, some states do accept general applications, so it may be worth looking into.
The Health Insurance Marketplace also offers support for those wondering if they can change their current health insurance plans, and all that the process would entail.
If you are feeling stuck and don't know where to begin with your health insurance options as a self-employed worker, GoHealth is an amazing online tool for navigating the healthcare marketplace. By providing some basic information and budgeting goals, GoHealth works as a "matchmaker" for health insurance. Simply state whether you want a single policy or family coverage, if any pre-existing medical conditions, and the time preference for your policy (short or long term). GoHealth will then provide the best matches for your requirements so you can compare your options and choose the best fit for your healthcare needs.
For all things health insurance, eHealth Insurance can provide information and support to make sure you find the best fit for you personally. Just fill in your area code and the type of medical insurance you need (family, short-term, small business, etc.) and eHealth will match you with tons of local options.
You can also do side by side comparisons of different companies and their policies, including the price. Plus, eHealth provides the cost of a typical office visit, so it won't be an unpleasant surprise if you need to visit a walk-in clinic. All of the quotes are free too, so it's easy and convenient to browse your health insurance options.
While this is not a health insurance service, it does still offer medical services at a deeply discounted price. Telemedicine services work remotely, so speaking to a doctor or medical professional is done virtually or over the phone. They can answer basic medical questions, provide educated diagnoses, treatment suggestions, and prescriptions. There is also the option to video call for a more personal approach.
Because telemedicine services are not health insurance, they do not cover the high costs of medical emergencies and procedures. Instead, they're a good way to cut costs for occasional visits if you're in overall good health. The cost of a check-up or consultation is also way lower than a traditional walk-in clinic visit, making it an affordable alternative to health insurance for many people. Some of the companies currently offering telemedicine services include HealthTap, Amwell, and Providence.
Cigna Health Insurance.
If reliability and coverage are at the top of your self-employed healthcare list, then take a look at Cigna's health plan. Cigna offers individual plans to fulfill all of your self-employment needs. According to their website, their individual plan is a more affordable option than traditional individual plans, and it offers many additional perks.
The individual plan includes 24/7 customer service and gym discounts to keep you healthy. Plus, they charge $0 for preventative care, annual check-ups, the flu shot, and health screenings are included in the base price.
If you're in a bit of a time crunch, they also offer telemedicine services to speak to a doctor virtually. But, these e-visits are limited to non life-threatening conditions such as sore throats, fevers, allergies, and the cold or flu. Just select a time and day, and you will be connected with a doctor in real-time to discuss your concerns. Because of its flexibility, this option makes for a great choice for those who travel for work often.
Keep in mind that Cigna does work with enrollment periods, so applying should be on time in order to sign up for their services. If you do not meet the yearly deadline, then you can complete a quick form to see if you're eligible for the Special Enrollment Period here.
Kover brings portable benefits for gig workers starting at just $7/month. You'll enjoy some amazing perks like paid time off, sick leave, 24/7 health service, legal protection, automatic mileage tracking. All the benefits you need in one membership with Jackalope.
Download our app and get one month of benefits free, courtesy of Jackalope. Alternatively, redeem your points for 2 months free from our Rewards!
With so many options to choose from, self-employed healthcare during your career doesn't need to deter you from working for yourself. As the self-employed workforce continues to grow, so do the opportunities and pillars of support, making a non-traditional workforce a pleasant and achievable experience.