I want to be self-employed but I'm not sure how to find health insurance coverage
Do you find yourself saying “I want to be self-employed” often? Are you curious about what life would look like if you worked for yourself? It’s a big move! Many “9-to-5ers” reach a point in their careers where they decide that it would be more enjoyable or lucrative (or both) to work for themselves. Making this decision — and following through — is no small feat. It requires diligent planning, strategy, preparation, and adjustments to one’s lifestyle.
One of the biggest areas of concern for those making the transition from working for someone else to working for themselves is finding decent health insurance coverage. It can be difficult to go from employer-sponsored coverage to a plan that you pay for entirely on your own. It can also be difficult to find the right plan for your needs. If you’ve heard your internal voice say “I want to be self-employed,” then consider the guidance in this article for finding good health insurance coverage as you make the transition.
Navigating the Marketplace
Once you make the move to become self-employed, you likely won’t qualify for group coverage. Instead, you can find health plans via the Marketplace for individuals and families.
Generally, if you run your own business and have no employees, or are self-employed, you won’t qualify for group coverage. You can purchase qualified health coverage through the Marketplace for individuals and families. Not only will you be able to find health plans that cover you and your family, but you may also qualify for tax credits or other subsidies. When finding a health plan through the Marketplace, you can also see if you qualify for free or low-cost coverage via CHIP programs or Medicaid in your state.
Each of these qualifications depends on household size, income, and some other factors. In order to complete a Health Insurance Marketplace application for health insurance, you need to have an estimate of your net income from your self-employed business for the year in which you’re getting coverage. Some find this tricky to do, but HealthCare.gov offers some tips for arriving at an accurate figure.
Freelancers, consultants, independent contractors, and other self-employed individuals can enroll in a health plan via the Marketplace during the Open Enrollment Period each year. Open Enrollment typically runs between November 1 and December 15th of each calendar year. You may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP), which allows you to sign up for health insurance outside of the Open Enrollment period. Qualifying life events include things like losing health coverage, getting married, having a baby, and other scenarios. Typically, you have 60 days prior to or 60 days after the event to enroll in a new plan.
A time outside the yearly Open Enrollment Period when you can sign up for health insurance. You qualify for a Special Enrollment Period if you’ve had certain life events, including losing health coverage, moving, getting married, having a baby, or adopting a child.
“I want to be self-employed...with good health care coverage”
We get it. Becoming self-employed involves many different risks. Finding good health care coverage shouldn’t be one of them. For those in the Austin, Texas area, we have a solution. Decent has created three special health plans specifically designed for self-employed individuals:
- Pathfinder Bronze Plan — Great for those who want to be covered in case something bad happens.
- Lonestar Bronze Plan — Great for those who expect to use their insurance from time to time.
- Trailblazer Silver Plan — Great for people with families, medical conditions, or prescriptions.
All of our plans include free access to a members-only primary care clinic where you'll always see the same doctor. We value the doctor-patient relationship, so our plan allows you to take as much time as you need with your doctor....as often as you’d like. Need to see your doctor regularly or frequently? Awesome! Enjoy unlimited free visits with your doctor whenever you need to help you stay healthy. Our goal is to bring people who wake up and say “I want to be self-employed” with affordable, comprehensive care from people who understand. Get your free quote today.