Are you thinking about ditching your 9 to 5 job for freelancing? Welcome aboard! According to the Freelancers Union, around 35% of the American population is freelancing.
Freelancers do get the sweet end of the working deal. They work their own hours, for their passion and for themselves. Everything is working quite well for them, but one problem they encounter on their career path is health insurance.
Unlike insurance that is offered to traditional full-time employees, health insurance for freelancers does not come that easy. As a freelancer, you are not entitled to a benefits package, which is why you need to look elsewhere.
Do I Need Health Insurance?
You did think about this, right? A health insurance plan is not a luxury but a necessity. After all, you will get injured or sick at some point in your life. If you do end up seeking treatment for some problem, you will be glad that you bought insurance. Just because you stay indoors and rarely go out doesn’t mean you will not meet an accident. It’s morbid thought, but you need to think about it.
Following are a few health insurance options for freelancers that you can explore:
Buy Through the State
You will find some kind of funded healthcare from the state. Medicare allows unemployed folks, self-employed workers, and disabled people to get coverage at a discount or even free of cost. The cost of the health insurance varies in every state. For example, if you live in Iowa, Massachusetts, Hawaii, or North Dakota, you will have access to extremely affordable healthcare plan. On the other hand, Carolina, Louisiana, and Alaska offer expensive health insurance plans.
The cost of the health insurance plan that is the premium is determined by the number of dependent family members and household income. The less people you have to take care of, the cheaper the plan will be. To start the process, an application must be filled at Healthcare.gov. Here, you will get a better understanding of how the health insurance plan works and the type of coverage you will receive.
The Freelancers Union
This non-profit organization advocates for freelancers. Every month, a meeting is held where the changing labor laws are discussed. They also offer help to independent contractors through which they can connect with healthcare plans. Like the state’s healthcare plan, you also have to fill an online application where your estimated income should be mentioned.
Once your application has been processed, the Union sends you various healthcare plans from which you can choose. The healthcare plans are actually provided by independent insurers that are the Union’s partners. Again, the price here varies and depends on the insurer the Union has partnered up with in your area.
Getting on the Spousal or Family Plan
One of the best ways for freelancers to get health insurance is to jump on their spousal’s healthcare plan. If any of your family members are employed and have a healthcare plan provided by their employer, then you have hit the jackpot.
It’s actually quite simple: you can either get the premium increases and make a few changes in the insurance plan or just get your name added to it. In some cases, you might have to pay a little extra for the family plan.
In order to jump on the plan, your spouse will have to talk to the HR department of their company. There’s a cap on the timeframe. Until and unless your spouse has a permanent position and has worked certain amount of years, the company won’t be able to add you to the plan. There’s another way you can speed up the process. For example, if you just had an addition to your family, then your spouse can send in an application and forego the enrollment period. As long as your partner is employed, you both will have a healthcare insurance plan.
The Local Chamber of Commerce
Chamber of Commerce organizations are local businesses that help independent contractors. To avail this healthcare insurance plan, you will have to join the organization and get a business license. All you will have to do is pay $40, and you will be a member of the organization. The best part about this healthcare plan is that not only will you get insurance, but you will also get the chance to connect with many small business owners through networking events. If any of the clients take an interest in your service, you might even get a few benefits.
Small Business Insurance
This is a little tricky, but if you bring in your friends on your freelancing projects, you can avail healthcare insurance as a small business owner. You will have to register your freelancing skills in the form of a small business. It’s better to get insurance through a professional employer organization. This way, you will get added coverage compared to private insurance. Plus, the premium will be much affordable.
Most people don’t go for this because private health insurance for freelancers is quite expensive. Unless you have a steady stream of income, you should better stay away from his plan. A private healthcare plan usually has a premium of about $440 for an individual, which is way too much. Moreover, only basic things are covered under his plan. If you go for a low-coverage plan, you will end up paying a hefty doctor’s bill. This is why this healthcare insurance plan should be your last choice.
Health insurance is one of the biggest factors that stop people from embracing their passion. After all, it’s pretty easy to get a steady paycheck from a company and stay under their healthcare protection. Now that you know there are so many health insurance options available for freelancers, you need to get a plan now. You never know when you might meet an accident and lose all the work saved on your laptop.
Digital Marketing Director