Self-employment brings with it a number of benefits and opportunities, including more freedom, flexibility, and limitless earning potential. The “gig economy” is seeing major growth over recent years and is currently at its peak.
But along with the perks of being self-employed come a few challenges, including finding affordable, high-quality medical coverage. Medical care is incredibly expensive, and traditional health insurance plans can come with premiums and deductibles that can eat up a good chunk of your earnings. Plus, they have their limitations, including what types of care may or may not be covered, depending on the plan.
Fortunately, there are several health insurance alternatives available to self-employed individuals to help ease the financial burden of medical care.
Short-Term Health Insurance Plans
A short-term health insurance plan offers medical coverage for a finite length of time, typically up to a year, depending on where you live. There are certain perks to participating in a short-term plan. For one, you have lots of flexibility when it comes to the type of doctor or hospital you visit, and secondly, you’re not limited to the short enrollment window to sign up. The biggest drawback is that these plans don’t last forever. And having a pre-existing health condition may disqualify you from coverage.
If you’re young and in relatively good health, then a high-deductible plan may be a viable option. With these policies, the deductibles are quite high in exchange for much lower premiums compared to a traditional health insurance plan. These plans are designed for those who don’t expect to have to visit a healthcare practitioner very often but still want some coverage in the event that an unforeseen injury or illness occurs.
Health Savings Accounts
A health savings account can offer medical coverage along with tax benefits. To cover major illnesses or injuries, this type of program must coincide with a high-deductible health plan. The payments you make are pre-tax deductions, and you won’t be penalized with taxation if you spend or withdraw funds if they are put toward medical costs.
Health Sharing Ministries
Self-employed individuals may find health sharing ministries particularly helpful to manage the expense of medical care. As a member of a health care sharing program, you can make voluntary contributions to a pool of funds that all members of your program can tap into when the need to pay for medical care arises. Not only would you be helping others of like faith, but you can use those funds yourself when a medical need arises.
Being a part of a health sharing ministry can help you realize significant savings. In fact, members of these programs can save 50 percent or more compared to a traditional health insurance plan.
Discover how USHealthShare can help fill your healthcare needs. Contact USHealthShare to discuss your options and learn how health sharing saves money.