If you’re a contractor or freelancer, you may wonder what options you have in terms of health insurance so you can stay covered.
While many full-time employees are offered insurance by their employer, contractors are a different story.
Read on to learn about four options of health insurance for contractors to consider if you need coverage.
If you’ve recently lost your job, COBRA health insurance could be an option. This plan was created by the US government to provide continuing coverage to people who are in between jobs so that they don’t lose coverage while they look for new employment.
COBRA, or the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985, is a law that mandates insurance programs can be continued when someone leaves their current job. While this law is designed to protect you, it can also be a very expensive option, and it’s only meant to be a stop-gap between your old job and a new one.
2. Health Insurance for Contractors: The US Marketplace
Another way to obtain freelance health insurance is by shopping at the US Health Insurance Marketplace. This is a form of government-issued insurance designed to cover those who don’t have health insurance via their employer.
If you are a freelancer, independent contractor, or self-employed worker, you can enroll through the Marketplace and pay for your coverage out of pocket. For business owners with employees, you’ll need to explore the SHOP Marketplace for small businesses.
If you need a health insurance plan and you fall below a certain income threshold, Medicaid might be a viable option. This form of coverage for freelancers and contractors can cover you to a certain degree, but you must meet the requirements as set forth by your state.
Talk to your state’s Medicaid office to find out if you qualify. There is no open enrollment period for Medicaid, so you can apply any time you wish and get covered, as long as you meet the current guidelines. Not all contractors are eligible, so it’s important to talk with your local or state department of social services to find out more.
4. Private Insurance
You can also obtain health insurance for contractors through the private market. This option is a bit more costly than some other alternatives, but it gives you the freedom to shop around until you find the plan and the monthly cost that’s right for you.
When shopping for private health insurance, make sure that you’re clear about the deductibles and the monthly premiums before you agree to a plan. An insurance broker might be able to help you find the best provider for your unique individual needs.
Whether it’s through COBRA, the Marketplace, Medicaid, or a private company, there are options that offer health insurance for contractors out there. Make sure you shop around to ensure that you’re getting the best level of coverage possible for the best cost.
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