Self-employed health insurance is individual health care coverage you can buy for yourself on the government’s health insurance marketplace. Follow this article to know more about it.
Self-employed means you have earnings from a business but don’t have any employees. Usually, people get health insurance via their employer. You can sign up for a new health insurance plan during the open enrollment period, which occurs every November 1 through January 15. You can also enroll if you have a qualifying life event like getting married, having a baby, or in case of losing your health insurance coverage.
The best health insurance for self-employed workers is affordable and offers decent coverage, low premiums and deductibles, and a comprehensive provider network. You should also look for a health insurance company with a good reputation and an easy claims procedure. Keep reading to know all the necessary information about health insurance for self-employed.
What is self-employed?
A self-employed person is a person who earns their living from any independent pursuit of economic activity, as opposed to earning a living working for a company or another individual. He doesn’t work for a specific employer who pays them a consistent salary or wage. Self-employed individuals, or independent contractors, earn income by directly contracting with a trade or business. In most cases, the payer will not withhold taxes, so it becomes the responsibility of the self-employed individual.
Self-employed persons may be involved in a sort of occupation but generally are highly skilled at a particular kind of work. Writers, tradespeople, freelancers, investors, lawyers, salespeople, and insurance agents may be self-employed. In simple words, those who work solely for themselves and contract directly with customers are self-employed. Being a self-employed person is not usually the same thing as being a business owner.
For example, a business owner may hire employees and become the boss – an employee-owner who operates and manages the business. Alternatively, a business owner has an ownership stake but may not be involved in the company’s day-to-day operations. In contrast, a self-employed person owns the business and is the primary or sole operator. The taxation rules for self-employed people differ from employees or business owners.
Self-employment may not be subject to tax withholding, so self-employed people are responsible for paying their taxes. Moreover, self-employment can provide a great deal of job flexibility and autonomy. However, it also comes with a more significant degree of employment risk and a more-volatile income.
What is health insurance?
Health insurance is an agreement that directs an insurer to pay some or all of a person’s healthcare costs in exchange for a premium. As with other types of insurance, it is a risk among many individuals. By estimating the overall risk of health risk and health expenses over the risk pool, an insurer can create a routine finance structure such as a monthly premium or payroll tax to offer the money to pay for the health care benefits specified in the insurance agreement. The advantage is administered by a central organization such as a government agency, private business, or not-for-profit entity.
Health insurance covers the whole part or part of a person’s risk of incurring medical expenses. Specifically, it pays for medical, surgical, prescription drugs, and sometimes dental expenses incurred by the insured. Health insurance can compensate the insured for costs incurred from illness or injury or pay the care provider directly. It is often included in employer benefit packages to entice quality employees, with premiums partially covered by the employer but usually also deducted from employee paychecks.
The fee of health insurance premiums is deductible to the payer, and the benefits obtained are tax-free with certain exceptions for S corporation employees. Choosing a health insurance plan can be tricky because of plan rules regarding in- and out-of-network services, deductibles, copays, etc. In addition, health insurance plans also have copays, which are set fees that plan subscribers must pay for services such as doctor visits and prescription drugs.
It also has deductibles that must be met before the health insurance covers or pays for a claim. Thirdly, it has coinsurance, a percentage of healthcare costs that the insured must pay even after meeting their deductibles.
The best insurance for self-employed
Most people get health insurance through their employer. It is a bit difficult to find quality, affordable health insurance. You can sign up for a new health insurance plan during the open enrollment period, which occurs every November 1 through January 15. You can also enroll if you have a qualifying life occasion like getting married, having a baby, or losing your previous health insurance coverage.
The best health insurance plans for self-employed workers are affordable and offer decent coverage with low premiums and deductibles and a broad provider network. You should also look for a health insurance company with a good reputation and an easy claims process. Below is the list of best health insurance for self-employed:
- Best overall; Blue cross blue shield
- Best network; UnitedHealthcare
- Best for convenience; Cigna
- Best for preventative Care; Kaiser Permanente
- Best for Customer Service; Oscar
- Best for underserved groups; Molina Healthcare
If you want to choose a healthcare insurance plan for the self-employed, you should opt for BlueCross BlueShield. It has an excellent record of client satisfaction and nationwide availability. It is a top overall choice for a healthcare plan for the self-employed. There are several reasons for choosing this insurance. One of the reasons is the strong company reputation and large provider network. It’s data-driven to improve quality and affordability. But in some states, it has terrible customer reviews, and the members may vary by region.
UnitedHealthcare is the top pick for the best network with over 1,300,000 providers in the network and is available in every state. The customers can get a free quote online, and it is available in 50 states. One bad thing about this insurance plan is the history of discriminating against mental health and substance abuse patients to save money. In addition, it mostly has poor customer satisfaction scores.
Cigna is the top pick for self-employed individuals seeking convenience because of its virtual care options and prescription home delivery. The reputation of this company is solid. It provides virtual services and prescription delivery. It has an expansive provider network. Cigna is not available in all states, and its customer satisfaction reviews are mixed (good and bad).
Kaiser Permanente is the top health insurance plan for the self-employed because of its notable emphasis on preventative care and overall health. It has strong customer satisfaction reviews. But it is available only in 8 states. One bad thing about this insurance plan is the history of skimping on behavioral healthcare.
If you are looking for a health insurance provider with excellent customer service, then Oscar is a suitable option. Oscar features a dedicated team of guides and nurses to answer your questions and help you save your money. It comes with free virtual primary care and free 24/7 access to virtual urgent care. It provides an easy-to-use mobile app for your convenience. Oscar is available only in 22 states and is less established than its competitors.
With an emphasis on serving individuals receiving government assistance, Molina Healthcare is the top choice for a healthcare company for underserved groups. It provides affordable coverage and plans transparency on its website. There is a new program of Molina Healthcare to improve healthcare access. This insurance plan is not available in all states. It has a history of regulatory issues, including fines for not handling grievances. In addition, it has low financial strength ratings.
Health insurance for self-employed farmers
Self-employed farmers and farm families are less likely to have health insurance coverage or participate in group insurance plans. At the same time, farmers have higher accident rates than other occupations. They are less likely to be covered by worker’s compensation, even though farming has an increased risk of accident and injury. The lower-paid for self-employed farmers hired and unpaid help is particularly significant in their lack of coverage under worker’s compensation.
Without health insurance, many farmers and other workers on the farm may not have access to necessary health care for injuries sustained at work or home. Limited access to group insurance is a significant deterrent to farmers’ coverage. In addition, farmers also live in areas where health status is lower. The same factors that affect the health status of other rural residents affect the farm population as well. Popular assumptions about the health of rural and farm residents are that they are healthier, self-reliant, and can take care of themselves at home.
Health Indicators show this may not be true. These health conditions reflect the combined effects of the availability and utilization of medical services, income levels, and underlying environmental factors. The added cost of greater travel distance, lack of compensated time off from work for illness, and lack of health insurance coverage deter the use of medical services.
Group health insurance for self-employed
If you are self-employed, you are considered a small group of people. You can only purchase group health insurance when you are self-employed through an insurance company or agent in particular states. Check with your state insurance department to demonstrate if group health insurance policies are sold to small groups of one. A self-employed person with no employees would have to buy an individual health insurance policy in most circumstances. The type of group health plan you pick may depend on whether or not you have employees.
If you have no employees, then how you go about selecting group health insurance for your self-employed business may be the same as if you were buying individual health coverage or family health insurance. If you have employees, you must consider how much you can afford to contribute toward employee premiums.
The network of providers employees would have access to, and the amount employees would have to bear for a deductible plan. Of course, the goal is to select a plan that makes financial sense for your business while also being what’s best for your employees.
Self-employed health insurance deduction
If you are one of the millions of self-employed people who have to pay for your health insurance for yourself and your family, you might be entitled to a special tax deduction. If you are, be sure to take it because it can be one of the most significant deductions you have. Self-employed people who qualify can deduct 100% of their health insurance premiums, including dental and long-term coverage for themselves, their spouses, their dependents, and any nonindependent kids aged 26 or younger than 26 at the end of the year.
However, it’s essential to understand that this is not a business deduction. It is an extraordinary personal deduction for the self-employed. The deduction applies only to your federal, state, and local income taxes, not your self-employment taxes. To qualify for the deduction, you must meet two requirements mentioned below:
- You have no other health insurance coverage. You may not take the self-employed health insurance deduction if you are qualified to participate in a health insurance plan maintained by your employer or your spouse’s employer.
- You have business income. You may deduct only as much as the net income you make from your business. You get no deduction if your business makes no money or incurs a loss. If you have more than one business, you can’t combine the income from all your companies for purposes of the income limit. You may only use the income from a single business you represent to be the health insurance plan sponsor.
Family health insurance for self-employed
If you want to opt for health insurance for the self-employed, fill out a Marketplace application. You’ll discover if you qualify for premium tax credits and other savings on a health plan. It will be based on your earnings and family size. You’ll also know if you qualify for free or low-cost coverage through your state’s Medicaid and CHIP programs. This will rely on your income, household size, and other factors. Do a quick check to see if your expected payment is in the range to save.
In the Marketplace, you can choose from several categories of coverage, from plans with low premiums that mainly protect you in worst-case scenarios to strategies where you’ll pay more each month but less out-of-pocket when you obtain health care services.
If you are self-employed, do you need health insurance?
Everyone would need health insurance, whether they are self-employed or not. Just because you are going it alone doesn’t mean you should go it alone without health insurance. Keep in mind that health insurance is not the only type of insurance you need to pick up if you are self-employed. If you don’t have health insurance, you and your family could be one medical emergency away from a financial tragedy. It’s not worth the risk. Ensure you are covered, so you don’t have to deal with any unexpected financial crisis.
The best place to start if you are self-employed is to check the government’s health insurance marketplace. The marketplace is where you can discover if you qualify for Medicaid, tax credits, or lower health insurance premiums. And if you have children, it’s also where you can enroll them into the children’s health insurance program if you qualify. Some insurance providers have plans customized for self-starters such as you- folks who are self-employed and need good health care coverage at an affordable rate.
You are probably looking for a plan that offers you and your family a wide range of benefits at no extra cost. You can start by speaking to an independent insurance agent who can help you find the best plan for the best price.
Why is health insurance important?
Health insurance is important because lifestyle-related ailments are expected these days. Healthcare is becoming increasingly expensive, and it gets difficult for a family to quickly arrange for vast amounts of money required for the treatment. Most of a family’s savings are fixed assets, which cannot be liquidated promptly. For instance, most insurers now offer individual policies and family floater plans. You get to protect yourself with a personal plan, but with a family floater plan, you can ensure the health of your entire family.
There are several more benefits of health insurance that make it possible for individuals to sustain their lifestyle, repay debts or even afford the high costs of treatment. To know more about how you can benefit from health insurance, read the following;
If you are suffering from a health problem and get admitted to one of the network hospitals, you’ll mostly be able to benefit from cashless hospitalization. The general insurance company will reimburse your medical bills to the hospital. Thus, you won’t have to bear the high treatment costs from your pockets. If you are admitted to a non-network hospital, you will be able to benefit from the reimbursement claim facility here.
Network or tie-up hospitals are the hospitals with which the insurance companies agree to provide cashless treatment services to their customers. In cashless hospitalization, the customer doesn’t need to pay medical bills to the hospital. They provide free and cashless services. The insurance company ties up with those hospitals, and they take care of the medical costs charged by the hospital.
No claim bonus
No claim bonus is the increase in sum insured at the time of renewal provided by the insurance company for no claims made in the previous policy year. The insurance companies’ maximum renewal or no claim bonus would not exceed 100% of the basic sum insured. A few health cover plans provide a 10% to 50% renewal bonus for each claim-free year.
The higher the renewal bonus percentage each year, the higher the sum insured at the time of renewal. The best health insurance policy is the one that provides up to 100% renewal bonus or no claim bonus for each claim-free year.
Add-ons or riders
You can buy a critical illness or accident add-on to ensure that your policy covers such exclusions.
If you unexpectedly die or get a permanent disability due to an accident, having a health insurance policy will cover you and your family with financial protection.
Peace of mind
A health insurance plan eliminates the need to worry about healthcare expenses and allows you to choose the best medical care for yourself and your family. Best care can also give good and fast recovery, allowing you to get back to your healthy life.
Coverage and Premium are the most frequently compared things when choosing the best health insurance policy. But comparing the coverage with the premium charged by the insurance companies is a big mistake people make. A health insurance policy includes inpatient hospitalization, treatment, and other terms and conditions, which should be thoroughly checked before buying it.
So, before buying the policy, consider all the factors because a simple analysis of comparing different health insurance policies against the premium from other insurance companies can only result in disappointment at the time of claim settlement. Buy a health insurance policy with PolicyBachat, compare with different companies, and get low premiums.
If you are self-employed or not, you still need health insurance. Having a health insurance plan is necessary nowadays because healthcare is becoming increasingly expensive. It gets difficult for a family to quickly arrange for vast amounts of money required for the treatment. Hence, it is better to protect yourself before facing any financial loss. There are several health plans mentioned above. So you should choose the plan that suits you the best.