Many small business owners and freelancers can get stressed enough over taxes, but that is just one piece of the puzzle for these workers.
Although somewhat new to the conversation, health insurance has come to the forefront of topics involved when talking about self-employment.
Why you may ask? Well, the obvious answer is that anyone who is self-employed is not receiving any health insurance from a company, so they are basically on their own when trying to figure out what to do to ensure themselves and their families are covered in case of an emergency–or even just routine check-ups.
Below are some thoughts you should give when considering health insurance as a self-employed worker:
(Note: this blog is strictly for obtaining your own insurance, we will speak on providing it to potential employees in a later blog).
Who do I need to provide for?
If you are flying solo, then it is much easier to just pick a plan based on your budget and needs and move forward. If you have more than one person you are getting this for, then you may have to do some more research.
What do I need covered?
Health insurance is definitely something I would not skimp on. I personally have lived without dental insurance for two years and many times a local college or university with a dental school gives discounted cleanings, so there is always a cheap option for that. Health insurance, on the other hand, has a lot of layers which include your doctor, medications, and other situations such as a pre-existing condition you need to consider.
Where can I go?
Currently, everyone is being led to Healthcare.gov to go through the marketplace for Obamacare. Although this is your major option, you can also still go through state insurance agencies if you are not finding what you need in the marketplace. Also, unions may also offer insurance, such as Freelancers Union, which is another route you can check out. Due to premiums becoming so high, many insurances are dropping out of Obamacare, causing a lot of issues with those who need insurance, so having different options may be beneficial if you hit some roadblocks.
What if I can’t afford it?
You may qualify for Medicaid or tax deductions if you are not making enough money to properly pay for your insurance. These are two cost-saving methods that may be able to help you out. If you honestly cannot make a go of it and are willing to take a risk, then opting to pay the penalty for being uninsured should be your last resort (this suggestion is for those who only need to insure themselves). It is definitely less than being insured but runs so many risks.
My personal solution–see if you can apply for a Catastrophic insurance plan if nothing else. This comes with very low premiums and is a worst-case scenario type situation which caps you out-of-pocket costs normally at $10,000–but you will have to pay for routine check-ups and other office visits.
Health insurance has become kind of a maze to navigate through these days with high premiums, insurances opting out of the marketplace and just and all around confusion over the entire process. Although it is confusing, I would never suggest not having health insurance because anything can happen and you want to ensure you and your family are safe.
What is your take on the current health insurance climate? Share your thoughts!
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