With the high healthcare costs today, we all need health insurance. Freelancers and gamblers do not have the benefit of an employer-sponsored group health plan, but they can still purchase health insurance to cover their medical expenses. The following are some possible options.
Individual health insurance can be purchased through Marketplace at health.gov . There are many options to choose from, but all Affordable Care Act (ACA) plans are required to cover certain services, including:
- Emergency Care
- Outpatient Services
- Laboratory Services
- Prescription Drugs
- Prevention and health care
- Chronic disease management
- Rehabilitation services
- Child care services
- Mental health care
Due to the COVID-1
Spouse's or Domestic Partner's Health Plan
If your spouse or partner is enrolled in an employer – sponsored health plan, this may be your best option for health insurance. Employers usually cover part of the premium cost, which can save money. You can generally expect to pay more if you buy individual health insurance on the Marketplace.
Associations for gig workers
Many freelancers belong to professional associations. Some of these associations offer insurance to their members, including health insurance, dental insurance and life insurance. Freelancers Union offers health, dental care, vision, longevity, disability and liability insurance to its membership, and it costs nothing to join the union. Health insurance options are based on your location, age and average income.
If you are leaving an employer with a group health insurance plan to work for yourself, you can choose to continue your current coverage as an individual health plan under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (KOBRA). This law allows you to extend your health coverage for up to 18 months after you leave your employer. The downside is that you cover the entire premium cost yourself. However, COBRA coverage can provide you with a health safety net while searching for longer and hopefully cheaper alternatives.
What should you look for in a health plan?
When comparing health plans at Marketplace or elsewhere, you need to consider:
- Monthly premiums
- Annual deductible amounts
- Copy or co-insurance amounts  Maximum without pockets
You may want to consider other factors, to for example, the freedom to choose your own providers or if your doctors are part of the health plan's network. While some health insurance plans offer some level of dental and vision protection, others may not. The type of health plan that works best for you may depend on factors such as the number and ages of your household, existing health conditions, and prescription drugs. Our agent can help you find a health insurance plan with the best available coverage that fits your needs at the best available rates.