Self-Employed and Need Health Insurance? Here’s How You Can Get It

One of the biggest challenges facing freelancers today (aside from landing paying clients) is finding affordable healthcare coverage.

In fact, according to a 2016 study by Upwork, 20% of the 55 million freelancers in the U.S. workforce are without health insurance.

It can be tempting to go without it, but that’s a disaster waiting to happen. Try these six resources to find affordable health care when you’re self-employed.

1. Health Insurance Marketplace

Depending on your income and household size, you may qualify for Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), premium tax credits or other savings options through the Affordable Care Act.

Create an account and complete an application to find out what benefits you’re eligible to receive.

2. Health Insurance Companies

Health insurance companies like Cigna and UnitedHealthcare offer private health insurance plans for self-employed people.

The companies offer a wide range of price points and coverage options to choose from. It can be difficult to figure out the right one to choose, but it’s worth it to spend time researching your choices.

3. Health Insurance Brokers

Health insurance brokers like Stride and Gravie assemble a variety of plans from several health insurance companies based on the type of coverage you’re looking for so you can quickly compare them and find what you need.

Reputable health insurance brokers make money from the insurance companies they represent and will never charge you a fee for their services.

4. Health Care Sharing Ministries

These faith-based organizations distribute health care costs among their members to help ease the burden of medical bills on individual members.

“These organizations generally require members to make a promise to adhere to certain biblical values and to participate regularly in worship or prayers,” explains HealthInsurance.org.

5. Gig Service Companies

It’s rare, but a few gig service companies offer health benefits to freelancers who use their platforms.

Care.com offers health insurance to its professional caregivers, and Instacart recently reclassified some of its contract workers as part-time employees to make them eligible for health benefits.

6. Freelancer and Industry-Specific Advocacy Groups

Freelancers Union connects freelancers with affordable health insurance plans.

Industry-specific organizations like the National Writer’s Union or the Professional Photographers of America are also great places to find leads on discounted health insurance.

No matter which option you choose, keep this in mind: Whenever you sign a legal document — including a health insurance policy – make sure to read the fine print. A thorough understanding of your coverage could save you big bucks.

Lisa McGreevy is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She loves helping freelancers live their best lives so look her up on Twitter (@lisah) if you’ve got a tip to share.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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