Health Insurance Blog

Do I Qualify for Healthcare If I’m Self Employed?

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A question that often comes during the Open Enrollment Period, revolves around coverage eligibility for self-employed individuals. There is a common idea that self-employed individuals do not qualify for healthcare and if they do, the plans are often unaffordable and lack coverage for essential needs. But nothing could be further from the truth! 

Are you self-employed and looking for health insurance? Contact us today for more information!

The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a sharp increase in freelancing or “gig-work”. A recent study by freelance work organization UpWork found that over 36% of workers reported that they engaged in freelance work in 2021 – an 8% increase from 2019. Unfortunately, while freelancing offers flexibility, it rarely comes with insurance. Even though options are available, studies show that only about 24% of freelancers have purchased their own insurance. The rest rely on their parents’ insurance and countless more are unaware of their options for an individual plan. 

If you are a self-employed individual with no employees other than yourself in your business, you will not qualify for group coverage. However, you can still seek and purchase a healthcare plan through the Marketplace for Individuals and Families. The Individual Marketplace has many options for substantial and varied coverage for individuals who freelance, work as consultants, or run their own business with no employees! Individuals could also benefit from premium tax credits when enrolled in an individual insurance plan.

What do Individual Marketplace Plans cover? 

The plans found in the Individual Marketplace cover the 10 essential health benefits that are offered for all Marketplace health plan offerings. The 10 essential health benefits include:

  • Ambulatory patient services 
  • Emergency services
  • Hospitalization 
  • Pregnancy, maternity, and newborn care
  • Mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment 
  • Prescription drugs
  • Rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices
  • Laboratory services
  • Preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management
  • Pediatric services, including oral and vision care 

Plans may vary, but the ten benefits above are consistently available in all plans.  You are also free to shop for a plan that best suits your budget and needed coverage. IF you do not want to shop from the individual marketplace, there are other options to consider like short-term insurance. 

With the rise of freelancing, self-employment, and the booming gig economy, the question of substantial healthcare for self-starters and contract employees is more important than ever. It is important to know that if you are self-employed, there may be many options readily available to you that could suit many different budgets. 

Regardless of which option you go with, enrollment in a new insurance plan must be done during the Open Enrollment Period (OEP). In most states, OEP begins November 1st, 2021, and ends on December 15th, 2021.  If you miss this period, you could, with few exceptions for extraordinary circumstances, have to wait another year to purchase coverage. 

Don’t wait! Contact one of our licensed experts today by calling (866) 660-5578 to discuss your self-employed or freelance health insurance options! 

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