Are you contemplating ditching your traditional job and building a business for yourself as a freelancer? Or are you already self-employed and facing the tough decision of purchasing health insurance coverage? Choosing the right insurance company and right policy is tough. The stress of purchasing health insurance is enough to make some freelancers consider going back to traditional employment with a company-offered health insurance plan. Before you let the anxiety of buying health insurance alter your freelancing plans, review the following five important tips for purchasing health insurance as a freelancer. Freelancing + health insurance is an enticing combination. The rewards can definitely outweigh the stress of making an initial purchasing decision.
– Work with an insurance agent who has experience with health plans for freelancers. Not every agent is cut out to deal with the intricacies of health insurance plans for remote workers, digital nomads, and on-demand workers. You will save yourself plenty of headaches and needless time researching if you make a point of dealing only with agents who can prove they have experience in the freelance health insurance sector.
– Variable income is part of being a freelancer. Your paychecks won’t be the same each month, making it difficult to budget for health insurance premiums. Try to find a plan that offers low monthly premiums as well as low deductibles. Don’t be afraid to shop around and ask advice from other freelancers in your network. You might even need to combine two plans to ensure you have adequate coverage.
– If you were previously employed and had health insurance coverage, speak with your previous insurer about being grandfathered in on your old policy. Not all insurance companies will allow grandfathered policies, but it never hurts to ask. The monetary savings can be substantial and all it takes is a simple email or phone query. The worst they can say is no!
– Pay attention to the rate at which your premiums increase each year. As a freelancer purchasing health insurance coverage, you might find a plan offering both low premiums and low deductibles. Don’t assume your plan will remain the same or be such a good deal in the years ahead. Compare your plan to others on an annual basis to make sure you are still getting a good deal. There are startup companies entering the health insurance sector on a frequent basis. Check out all your options to make sure your insurance company didn’t initially offer you a great plan to earn your business, but are now slowly raising your premiums year after year.
– Payout caps are another critical component of health insurance shopping many freelancers overlook. It is easy to get excited when you find a health insurance plan with affordable premiums and deductibles, only to find payouts are capped at a low amount. You want health insurance that covers everything from basic doctor visits to major health care expenses like surgery or life-altering diagnoses. Just because you can afford your monthly premiums, that does not mean your coverage will be adequate should you be diagnosed with a serious illness. By working with an experienced health insurance agent, you will be able to have answers to payout/premium/deductible questions prior to choosing the best policy for your needs.
Buying health insurance can be one of the most stressful parts of being a freelancer. The freedom to be your own boss and set your own hours is certainly intoxicating, but that freedom does not come without its own set of challenges. Pay attention to these five important tips for buying health insurance as a freelancer and you will feel much more comfortable about your final purchasing decision.
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