Getting health insurance can be a little trickier for the self-employed. There are a lot of regulations in place that claim to make the whole process a lot easier. But in reality, things have become more difficult than ever. Freelancers and entrepreneurs often have to travel from one place to another for work. So, it becomes necessary for them to find a health plan that covers while they are traveling outside of their hometown. However, finding a suitable plan for self-employed is not an easy task since they have limited HMO plans to choose from.
To solve this problem, there’s an entirely new category of healthcare called Health Cost Sharing. It is a way for healthy people to protect themselves from unexpected life events. And the cost for Health Cost Sharing is much lower than traditional insurance. If you’re self-employed and looking for health insurance, here’s how to gain health coverage:
1. Healthcare Marketplace
If you’re a small business or an entrepreneur, HealthCare.gov is one way for you to get insurance. If you’re not happy with the options or want help comparing the options, there are local companies like Stride Health, Indy Health Agents and HealthMarkets that help you find plans tailored according to your needs. They are also called health exchanges, and people can purchase insurance that complies with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
2. Healthcare sharing ministry
Healthcare sharing ministries are a great alternative to health insurance. In case you hold strong beliefs against government policies and programs, you should consider a healthcare sharing ministry. Being a member of a healthcare sharing ministry, you have access to a shared box where you contribute a monthly premium to fund for your and other members’ health costs. They are a lot cheaper than traditional insurance. You also get vision and dental coverage with healthcare sharing ministries.
Some major healthcare sharing ministries are:
- Samaritan Ministries
- Liberty Healthshare
- Christian Healthcare Ministries
If you happen to have a healthcare plan from your previous parent, spouse, or employer, you can opt for up to an additional 36 months of coverage depending on the situation and circumstances. However, you have to be careful. COBRA is often an expensive choice when compared to other available options. Moreover, you may not have an option for cancellation.
4. Short Term Health Insurance
Short term health insurances are insurance plans for a limited duration. They typically cover for one month to a year. It is the best option if you want to bridge the gap between longer-term plans. They do not cost much but you won’t always find full coverage options with short term health plans. These plans can refuse coverage for people who have chronic conditions.
Professional Employer Organization is a great way for self-employed to get health insurance. PEOs outsource management tasks like accounting and payroll. And they offer healthcare to the entrepreneurs who sign up with PEOs. You can get this benefit by paying a small monthly fee. Justworks, Gusto, etc. are a few examples of PEOs.
There are a lot of associations which offer help in obtaining health insurance as a benefit when you join them. However, the cost of the association fee might be greater than the benefit you will receive from them. We recommend you do your research before joining. NASE and MedCard are examples of such associations.