Self employment offers many advantages including making your own schedule, being your own boss, and enjoying the profits of the businesses success. Yet, self employed workers do also face some challenges, with health insurance being one of the biggest ones. When you are self employed, you do not have the advantage of enrolling in work sponsored health care plans. Fortunately, you do have medical insurance plans options.
Work with a private insurance provider
When you work for a company, you do not have much control over the health insurance provider you use. You can either sign up for health and vision insurance plans during open enrollment or you can seek your own private insurance. When you are self employed, you are able to consider different insurance plans. When you work with a private insurance provider, you can essentially price shop for the best healthcare plan. Your private insurance provider can help you understand the different plans and what costs to expect.
Consider a supplemental or gap coverage insurance
In many cases, the best way to get an affordable insurance plan as a self employed worker is to reduce your coverage. This means that you will have higher copays and higher prescription medication costs. However, you can also choose to get supplemental or gap coverage insurance. This is a secondary health insurance that covers what the other one does not. Because they are only covering a minimal amount of medical needs, the monthly premium is often more affordable. If you qualify, you can opt for a Medicare supplement. Every single day, around 10,000 Americans, ages 65 plus, enroll in Medicare for the first time.
Look at complete healthcare plans
It might seem tempting to forgo dental and vision insurance plans to cut your healthcare costs. However, you can sometimes get a packaged deal when you choose the complete healthcare plan. Even if you do not qualify for this complete discount, it is usually only a couple of dollars per month to add on dental and eye insurance plans. Yet, these dental and vision insurance plans could end up saving you thousands per year. About 74 million Americans had no dental coverage in 2016. Many of these uninsured Americans do not realize that they can easily add dental coverage to their current healthcare plan.
Consider part time employment
If you are still unable to find an affordable private insurance plan, it could be beneficial to seek part time employment. Many employers are offering healthcare to their part time employees also. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 85% of full time workers and 19% of part time workers (in the private sector) had access to medical care benefits in March 2017. If you find that your healthcare costs are high, it might be financially smart to consider part time employment.
Enroll in a health savings account
Health savings accounts are sometimes added to a healthcare package. Many employees do not enroll in them because it will increase their monthly premium by a couple of dollars. However, these programs can be especially advantageous for the self employed worker. Every month, you deposit a small amount of money into a health savings account. Some insurance providers will match these accounts. You can then pay for additional medical needs with this account. You can usually use these accounts for vision insurance plans, needed medical supplies, or physician copays.
Health insurance can be a confusing and overwhelming process. If you are self employed, it can be even more complicated. Self employed workers do have health insurance options in the private sector. They also can have access to dental and vision insurance plans. It is important to consider your healthcare needs and then to price shop for the best private provider.