6 freelancer health hacks to get the most from insurance
Are you a freelancer? Solopreneur? Real estate agent? Then you probably know that health insurance can be expensive for the self-employed. Getting the most for your money is important, but researching every nook and cranny of each of the 1,000s of plans available is, well, not at the top of your to-do list.
No worries. We know you’re busy doing your thing. We’ve put together a list of freelancer health hacks to help you get ahead of the game and maximize your health insurance plan.
1. Go to the doctor.
Sounds silly, right? Here’s the thing: most annual check-ups and preventative care are free. You should definitely take advantage so you can keep a finger on the pulse (literally) of your health and manage any pre-existing conditions. Many plans cover lab work, birth control, vaccinations, and routine screenings. Make an appointment to see your primary care doctor and go from there.
Helpful health hint: Decent’s plans offer free primary care, so you can see your doctor whenever you want and as often as you want...for free. If your doctor isn’t already part of our network, give us the contact info and we’ll do our best to get them on board.
2. Talk to the doctor.
We get it; you’re busy. If seeing your doctor is tough with your hectic schedule, why not dial him/her up? While not advised for emergency situations, telemedicine services are great if you need quick care or a second opinion. Consider the telemedicine option if you are dealing with a cold, flu, a rash, or other minor illnesses. It can be a great option to get a refill for birth control or other medication, too.
Helpful health hint: Decent’s plans offer free telemedicine care with your primary care physician. You don’t have to worry about talking to strangers or having an uncomfortable conversation with a chatbot. Talk to your doctor whenever you want and as often as you want (via video calls or 24/7 phone, text and email support) ...for free.
3. Slash wait times
One of the biggest reasons people don’t like going to the doctor is the inevitable wait time. As a freelancer or otherwise self-employed person, you may have a little more flexibility in your schedule. Most people tend to book appointments during peak hours, which can result in peak waiting times, too. Avoid early morning, lunchtime, and evening appointments and opt for something in between those times instead. Most “9-to-5” workers have to schedule during those peak hours, so avoiding them means less time sitting in oddly-patterned chairs and more time with your doctor.
4. Have a plan
Whether you’re going to the doctor for a routine physical exam or to address a medical condition, have a plan. It can be helpful to make a list of questions you have for your doctor ahead of time to ensure that you get all the answers you need. Also be sure to check if you need refills on any of your medications prior to your appointment.
5. Switch to generic
The word “generic” often has a negative connotation, but in the world of prescription drugs, it can actually boost your bank account. While you should always consult with your physician about the best option for your health needs, choosing generic over name brand medications can be a less expensive way to get the care you need. Many health insurance plans offer super low copays for generic medications (or completely cover them).
Helpful health hint: Decent’s plans cover generic medication around less than half the cost of preferred brand drugs or offer them at $0 after you meet your deductible.
6. Know what you’re looking for
If you’re newly self-employed or looking to switch health insurance plans for another reason, have a health insurance checklist to make buying a plan easy. The health jargon, schedule of benefits, and pricing can get confusing. Don’t get overwhelmed! Be prepared. Do a little research and get up-to-speed on the things you need to pay attention to. Make a list of your medications and health history so you can choose a plan that will cover the services and medication you need at an affordable price.
Helpful health hint: Take a look at our guide to shopping for health insurance to help you navigate your journey.
You’re a resourceful freelancer on top of your work game. Use this guide to help you stay on top of your health insurance game, too. We’re here to help you thrive...and get affordable health insurance that meets your needs.