Self-employed people generally find their own work rather than being provided with work by an employer, ( Individual or government ) earning income from a profession, a trade or a business that they operate. In some countries, governments such as those of the United States and the United Kingdom are placing more emphasis on clarifying whether an individual is self-employed or engaged in disguised employment, often described as the pretense of a contractual intra-business relationship to hide what is otherwise a simple employer-employee relationship. If you’re a self-employed person, this section of our guide will lead you through simple steps designed to help you find the best short term health insurance for self employed, find the coverage that best meets your needs, and to help you manage your coverage effectively once you’ve purchased it.
How to know if you need short term health insurance for self employed
If you don’t have an employer or employees, but you bring home taxable income, then you most likely need to find independent contractor health insurance through an individual or family plan. Some examples of individuals who might enroll for short term self-employed health insurance:
- Independent contractor
If this description seems to apply to you, it’s important to explore your options for short term self-employed health insurance. Getting coverage for yourself, no matter your job status, may help you avoid paying a penalty for being uncovered. Please note that starting with the 2019 plan year, you’ll no longer owe a federal tax penalty if you can afford health coverage and decide not to get it. However, states may have different rules, and you may owe a state fee for going uncovered.
Please note that if you have even one employee other than yourself, you may be eligible for small business group health insurance instead, which works well for people who are responsible for insuring their employees in addition to themselves.
Things to consider before buying short term health insurance for self employed
As someone who’s self-employed, you’re also doubling up as your own Human Resources director! There’s no one to call with questions about your benefits. But fear not! We’ve stepped in to give you a few pointers if you’re self-employed and shopping for health insurance.
1. Consider Agencies That Could Help
It’s a good idea to connect with organizations that offer something similar—like the Association for the Self-Employed. Membership could give you access to discounted health insurance plans, Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and other support.
2. Remember the Self-Employed Health Insurance Tax Deduction
Being your own boss also means taking the knocks if business is slow. That’s why it’s important to know how to make your money work harder when you’re buying health insurance. And you can do that with the health insurance tax deduction for the self-employed.
If you qualify for this deduction, it means you’re allowed to deduct 100% of your health insurance premiums from your adjusted gross income every year. This is a deduction for self-employed individuals and their dependents—not for small businesses.
Here are a couple of things you need to do to qualify:
- Show no other forms of health insurance coverage. You’ll need to prove you have your own personal health insurance coverage and aren’t still covered by an employer’s group plan or named in someone else’s policy—like your spouse’s policy. What’s more, you can’t claim the deduction if you qualify for coverage from your spouse’s group plan but choose not to take it up.
- Prove your income from being self-employed. You need to have some income coming in to apply for a deduction. And if you have a few different streams of self-employed income, you can only claim the deduction against one of those streams. The one with the highest income is probably your best bet!
3. A High Deductible Health Plan Makes Financial Sense
If your health insurance plan has a high deductible, that means lower monthly premiums. And we like those! It’s also great for self-employed folks like Ollie and Rebecca because it reduces their monthly expenses. They just need to make sure they can foot the higher deductible when they need to. And that’s where the Health Savings Account comes in.
To summarize: An HSA is a tax-advantaged savings account linked to a high deductible health plan (HDHP). It’s a savings account for you and your dependents to pay for qualifying medical expenses. The interest you earn in your HSA is tax-deferred, and the withdrawals you make to pay for medical expenses are tax-free too.
4. Get Expert Advice From an Independent Insurance Agent
When you’re in charge of finding health insurance that’s worth more than the paper it’s written on, don’t leave it to chance or the internet to find the best one for you!
An independent insurance agent—like the ones you’ll find in our Endorsed Local Providers (ELP) program—are the experts to turn to.
You can find local agents who are ready to walk you through your health care options and track down the best health insurance quotes in the exciting world of being your own boss!
How to easily get Short-term Health Insurance if You’re Self-Employed
As a self-employed individual, there are different situations that call for different approaches to health insurance. Make sure to take your specific situation into account as you seek out a health insurance policy.
Short-term health insurance can be bought at any point during the year. That means you do not have to wait for the regular sign up period later in the year.
If you only need coverage for a few months, then this can be a good option. Although the premiums are typically low, the costs can be high if you have a medical emergency. Here are my best recommendations for places to look for Short-term Health Insurance if You’re Self-Employed:
If you’ve recently left a job at which you had health insurance through a group plan, then you can turn to COBRA. With COBRA, you can continue to use your employer’s plan for a finite period of time. Although you cannot continue with this option forever, it will give you a brief period of grace to find a more permanent solution.
2: Health insurance marketplace
If you have no plans of returning to a W2 job with a traditional employer, then you’ll need to start looking for a more permanent option. The Health Insurance Marketplace will allow you to see your subsidized options after filling out an application.
Generally, if you have a low income then you qualify for affordable options through the platform. In some cases, you might even qualify for free coverage. However, as your income increases, you will be less likely to qualify for an affordable plan.
If you have an income that is difficult to predict, then you’ll have to make your best guess on the application. When your income changes, you’ll need to make sure to update your application. Otherwise, you might be receiving more savings than you are entitled to.
As an unaffiliated insurance broker, Policygenius can help you find the right policy. The online tool will ask a variety of questions to help you determine which health insurance policies might work for you.
After receiving several options, you will be able to work directly with the insurer of your choice to finish the transaction.
In addition to health insurance, Policygenuis can help you find other types of insurance such as life, auto, home, and pet insurance.
4: Health IQ
If you already live a healthy life, then Health IQ can help you find an affordable health insurance option. Currently, Health IQ is the only company that can provide lower rates based on your current health, lifestyle, and health literacy. According to their site, you can find rates up to 41% lower.
However, the health insurance they provide is the Medicare Supplement. This can only cover what Medicare cannot. It can be a great way to find additional coverage, especially if you lead an active lifestyle.
5: Private health insurance companies
Although these plans may be more expensive than you are comfortable with, many private health insurance companies provide individual plans for self-employed people. Now that you are covering the entire cost of the plan, it can be a shockingly high price. However, it is an option if you absolutely need health insurance and cannot find a more affordable option.
6: Healthcare Sharing Ministries
Throughout the country, there are faith-based organizations that will help you cover the cost of healthcare. Generally, your monthly membership is much more affordable than traditional health insurance. However, there is a catch. Health sharing ministries are not necessarily required to cover your medical expenses. In most cases, they will be able to help but sometimes you will be stuck with an expensive medical bill.
Additionally, most health sharing ministries have membership requirements for certain values and beliefs. They may even require that you attend a regular worship service! Make sure that this is something that fits in with your lifestyle and values before joining a healthcare sharing ministry.
7: Industry-specific groups
In some industries, you will be able to join a group health insurance plan based on your industry. For example, Freelancers Union offers health insurance options to its members. Seek out any unions in your industry to find out more about your options. In addition to health insurance, these groups can be a valuable resource to help you excel in your field.
The healthcare industry is changing constantly. If you are self-employed, then you need to evaluate your health insurance options each year.
Read through all of the fine print of your health insurance before choosing to sign. Otherwise, you might find yourself overpaying or underinsured. Take all the time you need to think over your options before choosing the best healthcare option for your new self employed lifestyle. Good Luck!