Health Insurance Options for Self-Employed Workers
Lauren Lewthwaite 10-08-2022

How To Get Self Employed Health Insurance: Explore Your Options for Coverage

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Being self employed has a ton of perks, but unfortunately, health insurance isn’t one of them. If you’re your own boss, you’ve likely come to the realization that you need to sort out how to get self employed health insurance. 

Luckily, we’ve got your answers here. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about self employed health insurance, so you can continue working for yourself without worrying about your health. 

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What is Self Employed Health Insurance?

When you work for a company, you’re generally entitled to opt into the company’s health insurance plan. This means that your employer has procured a group health insurance plan for employees and pays a portion of the premiums to help keep costs down for employees.

But when you’re self employed, you don’t have a group health insurance plan to join. That means you need to find your own health insurance and pay all of the premiums yourself, for you and your dependents (if any). 

If you’re tempted to forego health insurance, think again: the average hospital visit in the US costs $2,600 per day, with overnight visits totalling as much as $9,300 for the uninsured. And if that’s not enough to convince you of the need for self employed health insurance, consider this: 60% of all bankruptcies are related to medical expenses

How To Get Best Health Insurance For Self Employed

It’s clear that everyone should have health insurance, but how do freelancers get health insurance? It’s easier than you might think. 

Your first step for self employed health insurance should be to check the health insurance marketplace. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), you can browse different insurance plans in your region and find one that fits your budget/needs. Within the marketplace, you can rest assured that all plans cover 100% of preventive care and coverage can’t be denied due to a pre-existing condition.

You can also reach out to an insurance agent to help guide you through your options. An independent insurance agent will be your best bet, because they won’t push a particular company’s plan on you. 

The Cost of Self Employed Health Insurance

Health insurance can be expensive, but that doesn’t mean you’ll need to pay more than you’re comfortable with. There are plenty of plans available depending on your requirements and budget, especially if you compare multiple quotes and research your options. 

You can expect to pay anywhere from $200-$500 per month for health insurance, although this can vary widely depending on where you live, your dependents, your health, the plan you choose, and your income. 

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More Health Insurance Options for Self-Employed Workers

The good news is that you have plenty of options when it comes to self employed health insurance. Here are some further options that you might be eligible for:

  • COBRA: if you’ve recently lost your job, you’re likely entitled to keep your previous insurance plan for a certain amount of time. Keep in mind that this option can be pricey as your previous employer no longer helps cover the premiums.
  • Short-term health insurance: if you’re planning on being self-employed for a short period of time or simply need to bridge the gap between coverage, short-term health insurance might be a good option. While premiums are typically higher than other insurance options, it might be worthwhile to get you through to your next job or until you can join a partner’s plan.
  • Partner’s insurance: if you’re married or live with a partner, you might be entitled to their health insurance. Ask them to reach out to their HR department to find out. This can often be the most cost-efficient option since employers contribute to the cost of employees’ health insurance.
  • Medicaid: if you fall below a certain income threshold, you might qualify for Medicaid and receive access to low-cost health insurance coverage.
  • Unions and associations: this is often less common, but you may be able to join a union, association or professional group’s health insurance coverage if you’re self employed. 
  • Student: if you’re a registered student, you’re likely entitled to low-cost health insurance coverage offered by the school.
  • Parents: for those under the age of 26, you can take advantage of your parent’s health insurance plan, although you usually need to stay in the same state.

As someone who is self-employed, you’re likely used to thinking outside the box and getting creative. These alternative options for self employed health insurance can net you solid coverage at a lower cost. 

The Best Health Insurance for the Self Employed

At the end of the day, the best health insurance for the self employed depends on each person. You want to make sure your coverage fits your healthcare needs and makes sense for your budget, and you certainly don’t want to forego coverage (even if you’re healthy). Never accept the first quote you get for health insurance; make sure to compare multiple quotes/coverage to ensure you’re getting the best option available to you and don’t be afraid to update your plan as your needs change.  

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Lauren LewthwaiteLauren Lewthwaite has been freelance writing for almost five years writing content that ranges from health to insurance and everything in between. Lauren is also a trained translator in French and English and is a dog-mom to an adorable Australian Shepherd.