As a self-employed person, you may be wondering what kind of health insurance plan you should look for, or if you should have health insurance at all. Whether you are only temporarily working for yourself, or are planning on starting your own business, it is important that you make sure you some form of coverage in order to protect yourself against unexpected medical costs. Not only could going uncovered result in you having to pay costly medical bills entirely out-of-pocket, but you’re also likely losing the opportunity to maintain your health and have affordable access to health care providers and facilities. Fortunately, with the following guide, you’ll be able to not only understand the ins-and-outs of self-employed health insurance plans, but you’ll also receive the insights that you need to choose the plan that is right for you in the upcoming year.
Understanding the ins-and-outs of self-employed health insurance
By definition, self-employed persons are those individuals who are in business for themselves and don’t have any employees. With this definition in mind, there are several individual health insurance plans that can be purchased by self-employed individuals. Whether you need to choose individual coverage, or want a family plan, there are three key factors that you should keep in mind as you choose your individual health insurance:
1. The individual coverage of your selected plan. — Choosing your self employed health insurance plan will require you to examine its health benefits, physician network, cost, and prescription drug coverage. At eHealth, you can use easy to navigate tools to discover the individual health insurance plan that is right for you. Whether you are looking for a specific brand-name insurer, or need to have specific prescription drugs covered by your insurance, eHealth is here to help you weigh the potential benefits of each individual plan.
2. Choose a plan during the open enrollment season for health insurance. — Under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, there is an annual open enrollment period. During this time frame, you can explore various self-employed health insurance plans. It is important to note that the time period for open enrollment can vary each year, however, it is typically from November 1st – December 15th. However, if you miss an open enrollment period, then you might still qualify for a special enrollment period or you can choose a coverage alternative like short-term health insurance.
3. Do you qualify for a special enrollment period? — When open enrollment ends, you can still qualify for a special enrollment period if you experience certain life events. These events could include a divorce, loss of employer-based health insurance, the birth of a child, or a marriage. Watch the video below to get more information about choosing affordable self-employed health insurance: After you have reviewed the above three factors, you will need to choose your self-employed health insurance plan. You can purchase your individual health insurance through online marketplaces like, eHealth, or through a government-run exchange or directly from your chosen health insurance company. With this in mind, a private online marketplace typically has the tools needed to help you thoroughly understand the ins-and-outs of the available plans.
Do you qualify for small business health insurance?
As a self-employed individual, you might qualify for small business health insurance if you employ one additional person who is not a family member. If you do qualify for small business health insurance, then there is a chance that you can also qualify for the small business health care tax credit. This credit can save you up to 50 percent of the costs that you will pay for your employees’ premiums; however, in order to qualify you must meet all of the following criteria:
Your small business should have fewer than 25 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees. The average full-time employee salary should be approximately $50,000 per year or less. You should be paying at least 50 percent of your full-time employees’ premium costs. Your small business offers the appropriate coverage options to all of your full-time employees. It is important to note that you don’t have to offer coverage to individuals who work fewer than 30 hours per week.
Even if you do not qualify for the small business health insurance tax, small business health insurance is usually more affordable per individual, and you may find that you qualify for other tax breaks. So before assuming you’re simply self-employed and purchasing individual health insurance, see if you qualify as a small business–you might be able to, even with just one employee.
Choose your individual coverage today
Choosing self-employed health insurance can be an easy process if you have the right resources and tools. On eHealth, you can learn more about health insurance as a self-employed individual with hundreds of articles on our Resource Center, you can shop plans and compare quotes for free, and you can complete your entire enrollment process on our website. Make sure to get coverage and protect your health and your wallet.
eHealth, Inc ( https://www.ehealthinsurance.com/) is a leading private online health insurance exchange where individuals, families and small businesses can compare health insurance products from brand-name insurers side by side and purchase and enroll in coverage online and over the phone. eHealth has helped millions of Americans find the coverage they need. It offers thousands of individual, family and small business health plans underwritten by many of the nation's leading health insurance companies.