Self-employed persons are those in business for themselves, those that work for themselves, usually without employees. Many work out of their own homes. Some are consultants, graphic designers, Web engineers, Bloggers etc. If you’re a self-employed person, this section of our guide will lead you through a four step process designed to help you find the Best Self-Employed Health Insurance coverage that best meets your needs, and to help you manage your coverage effectively once you have purchased it.
Since self-employed people typically purchase individual and family health insurance coverage rather than small business group coverage, this portion of the guide will focus on the Best Self-Employed Health Insurance to Find quality, affordable coverage without an employer’s plan.
The 6 Best Self-Employed Health Insurance in 2021
1: Best Overall: Blue Cross Blue Shield
Blue Cross Blue Shieldearns our top spot because of the company’s longevity and strong customer satisfaction. Blue Cross Blue Shield also offers nationwide health insurance, along with coverage outside of the United States, and the company’s provider network is one of the largest.
- Strong company reputation
- Large provider network
- Data-driven to improve quality and affordability
- Member experience may vary by region
- Bad ConsumerAffairs reviews in many states
Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) is an association of 36 independent Blue Cross Blue Shield companies across the United States of America. Since 1929, the association has established a strong reputation, and most of its companies have high AM Best ratings, earning BCBS our top spot.2 The companies have scored 2.5 to 4.5 on a scale of 1 to 5 from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). Blue Cross Blue Shield companies also earned high rankings in the J.D. Power 2020 U.S. Commercial Member Health Plan Study.
Blue Cross Blue Shield offers coverage to 107 million members in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. The companies have an expansive network including 96% of the country’s hospitals and 95% of doctors and specialists. Expats may also have health coverage through the company’s global network. Depending on the state, Blue Cross Blue Shield companies may offer a variety of products. You may also have access to health and wellness discounts like gym memberships and fitness products through Blue365.
You may compare plan quotes and apply for health insurance through your local Blue Cross Blue Shield company’s website. You can also call or sign up through your state’s health insurance exchange or Healthcare.gov. With 36 different companies, prices may vary by location, plan type, age, tobacco use, and the size of your family.
After receiving healthcare, visiting a hospital, or getting a prescription, the provider submits a claim to Blue Cross Blue Shield. You may access a claim summary, including how much you owe, by logging into your online portal or by mail.
Self-employed workers may like Blue Cross Blue Shield’s data-driven approach, like the company’s National Health Index, which maps health status by county. Blue Cross Blue Shield also uses nationwide data to address major issues like the rising cost of healthcare.
you may also want to learn How To Get Blue Cross Healthcare Coverage – Individuals & Families
2: Best Network: UnitedHealthcare
UnitedHealth Group Incorporated is an American for-profit managed health care company based in Minnetonka, Minnesota. It offers health care products and insurance services. In 2020, it was the second-largest healthcare company by revenue with $257.1 billion, and the largest insurance company by Net Premiums.
What’s Included with United Health Care?
- Rehabilitative and habilitative devices and services
- Pediatric Services that includes vision and oral care
- Laboratory services
- Prescription drugs
- Preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management
- Ambulatory patient services
- Maternity and newborn care
- Emergency services
- Mental health and substance use disorder services including health treatment.
3: Best for Preventative Care: Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is an American integrated managed care consortium, based in Oakland, California, United States, founded in 1945 by industrialist Henry J. Kaiser and physician Sidney Garfield.
Kaiser Permanente is not just a health insurance company, but rather a managed care organization where consumers can purchase a health insurance policy and receive medical care from one of the Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and medical centers. The company was founded in 1945 by Henry J. Kaiser and Sidney Garfield and is headquartered in Oakland, California. Kaiser offers medical services and health insurance in nine states; Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Virginia, Maryland, California, Oregon, Washington, Ohio and the District of Columbia.
- You are able to receive a quote for a health insurance policy and apply online.
- High Customer Satisfaction Ratings in customer service and claims handling
- The doctor’s office, lab and pharmacy is all under one roof
- Policy holders are limited to choosing Kaiser Physicians and treatment centers unless there is an emergency and you are not close to a Kaiser facility.
- Coverage is only available in 9 states and the District of Columbia
Company Contact Information
To learn more about Kaiser Permanente health insurance plans or to receive a quote online, you can visit the Kaiser Permanente Health Insurance Company website or call 1-800-245-3181.
4: Best for Convenience: Cigna
Cigna is an American worldwide health services organization based in Bloomfield, Connecticut. Its insurance subsidiaries are major providers of medical, dental, disability, life and accident insurance and related products and services, the majority of which are offered through employers and other groups
Cigna offers health insurance, Medicare and dental insurance for individuals and families. If you are looking for cheap individual health insurance then Cigna would be a good option to consider. However, the health insurance company does have below average reviews and customer complaints. Policyholders will have access to their health insurance or dental plans online through the Cigna website.
- Cheap individual health insurance
- Large variety of provider network choices
- Availability (can only be purchased in select states)
- Customer service
5: Best for Underserved Groups: Molina Healthcare
Molina Healthcare is a managed care company headquartered in Long Beach, California, United States. The company provides health insurance to individuals through government programs such as Medicaid and Medicare.
Molina Healthcare Insurance plans are connected with state or federal-run programs such as Medi-Cal, Medicaid, and Medicare. Molina Healthcare insurance quotes for a single 30-year-old with an income of $50,000 range from $173.18/mo for the Bronze Plan to $294.67 for the Platinum Plan.
Molina Healthcare Pricing & Plans
Molina offers a very versatile product range from which customers can pick and choose the options suited to their needs. As you might expect, the more options you include in your policy the more expensive it becomes.
As base level plans, Molina offers 5 different options, but each of these can be customized in different ways. The five plans – Minimum, Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum – provide more than enough options for customers looking to find the perfect plan.
The Minimum plan – a.k.a the catastrophic plan – has the client pay the deductable themself before the coverage kicks in to pay the rest.
They have an easy to follow website, and equally impressive mobile app available for customers to find resources. Its list of services is clear and easy to follow.
When it comes to being seen by a Doctor, Molina’s insurance plans are widely recognized and accepted in the medical facilities of the states they participate in.
The coverage they offer generally falls between the Medicare and Medicaid range depending on what state you are living in. California, for example, has its own state-specific version known as “Medical”. Molina also offers a dual option that includes both Medicare and Medicaid called Mediconnect.
In addition to their medical plans, Molina also offers access to a large network of dentists and opticians as a part of their dental and vision plans.
Molina has worked hard to make its website a great resource for their clients. For example, customers who enroll via the website can check their eligibility, the amount of benefit coverage they will receive, and which stage a claim is at if they have recently made one.
All claims can easily be made online with the forms provided by download, it is also possible for Molina members to access their personnel file at any time should they need to go over their claim history.
6: Best for Customer Service: Oscar
Oscar earned a place on our list because of the company’s expansive customer service. You have access to unique features through the company’s mobile app (like Doctor on Call and Concierge) which makes it easy to talk with a doctor 24/7 or refill a prescription. For those who prefer phone support, you may also contact their support team by phone, Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. EST.
- Doctor on Call
- Mobile app
- Not available in all states
- Limited network
Oscar is a technology-driven health insurance startup and is the youngest company on our list. Established in 2012, Oscar has been making waves with its unique approach to customer service. The company doesn’t currently have a rating with AM Best and has earned rankings of 2.5 to 3.0 from NCQA.
Although the company has limited availability Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and pending regulatory approval, North Carolina—they have plans to expand in 2021. The company currently offers health insurance and Medicare plans to 420,000 members.
You may get quotes or sign up for a plan through Oscar’s website or by phone. You may also shop through your state’s exchange or Healthcare.gov. The pricing will vary based on where you live, type of plan, your age, tobacco usage, and family size.
The claims process is similar to other companies. Your provider will submit a claim to Oscar and the provider will share an explanation of benefits covering how much you owe. The company typically doesn’t cover out-of-network claims because it mostly offers HMO plans.
Oscar has a few unique features that may be handy for self-employed or gig economy workers. The company’s Doctor on Call feature offers free, unlimited, 27/4 access to a provider. The Concierge is also a standout feature, with a dedicated team of guides and nurses to answer your questions and help you save money. This level of customer service is unsurpassed among the providers reviewed.
If you’re tired of mediocre customer service, Oscar may be worth a look. As a member, you may use Doctor on Call or Concierge through the company’s mobile app along with easy access to your records, lab results, deductibles, and more. The company’s white-glove service may be particularly appealing to self-employed folks navigating health insurance on their own for the first time.
How We Chose the Best Self-Employed Health Insurance
As a self-employed or gig economy worker, you may face many tough decisions on your own including choices about health insurance, retirement plans, taking time off, and more. Hopefully, these rankings make the process of picking the best health insurance a little less daunting. To create our list, we reviewed 15 of the top health insurance providers before choosing the best. We compared each company’s history, reputation, other product offerings, the application process, nationwide coverage, the size of the provider network, and claims process.