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Health Insurance for Self Employed Workers

Updated on September 11, 2012

Health insurance for self employed individuals is something that can often be overlooked, even by the very people it's designed to protect. Self employment can prove to be quite rewarding, and it has plenty of advantages, so it makes sense to protect your most valuable asset - you! When it comes to health insurance, self employed workers are often unsure whether or not it's available for them and their dependents. The answer is yes! Health insurance policies are available for those that are self employed, the key is to understand the difference between health insurance for self employed individuals and health insurance for regular employees.

The Importance of Health Insurance for Self Employed Workers

Having your own health insurance is becoming more and more important. Health care costs are steadily on the rise, and more and more people are finding that covering their medical costs can place a significant financial strain on them and their family. Without health insurance, it is difficult for people to afford to see a doctor when they are sick, much less have any type of medical procedures or test carried out. Health insurance helps to take some of the financial responsibility off the individual. Health insurance for self employed individuals is no different in this respect. While it's safe to say that most people, whatever their work status, will have a need for some kind of health insurance, the policies for self employed individuals and regular employees do have a few differences. Perhaps the key difference is the fact that self employed health insurance is considered an individual policy, rather than a group policy.

Having the Right Kind of Policy

There are a variety of different policy options available for self employed workers. While most people are concerned about finding affordable health insurance, self employed individuals need to ensure they get the right type of policy and have adequate coverage. Choosing the most appropriate health plan can sometimes be tricky, simply because there are so many options available and it can be difficult for someone who's new to health insurance to understand which features are most important. Some of them will offer lower premiums and higher deductibles, others will offer higher premiums and lower deductibles, and the amount of cover offered can differ from one plan to the next. It's really a good idea to get a full understanding of the various plans before choosing the one that is right for you, paying particular attention to the amount of coverage the policy offers - having adequate coverage is crucial. It may be cheaper but paying for a policy that doesn't actually have enough coverage to help you when you need it just doesn't make sense.

Tips for Comparing Self Employment Health Insurance Plan

The best thing to do is sit down and compare a few different health insurance plans. When deciding on which plan to go with, it is a good idea look at the benefits and features of each plan side by side to try and decide which you need and which might be surplus to your requirements. This will give you the opportunity to compare and contrast the plans in order to find the one that's right for you. There are three main types of health insurance for self employed individuals. These include the High Deductible Health Plan, the Health Maintenance Organization and the Preferred Provider Organization. They each have their own benefits.

  • The High Deductible Health Plan, or HDHP, will generally have lower premiums, but the deductibles will be higher (hence the name 'high deductible' health plan). The best way to ensure that you are able to cover these high deductibles is by having a HSA, or a Health Savings Account.
  • The Health Maintenance Organization, or HMO, is another popular plan. HMO plans are typically quite reasonably priced, and there are usually no deductibles required. This can be great for those that frequently visit the doctor. There are, however, copays for prescriptions, hospital stays, and ER visits. The main downside to this type of insurance plan is the fact that you will have to choose a doctor that's recommended by the network.
  • The Preferred Provider Organization, or PPO, has a lot of freedoms associated with it. You can visit any doctor you choose, but the copayments will usually be higher. This type of plan can sometimes be more expensive than an HMO plan.

These are just some of the basic options that you will need to consider when comparing health insurance for self employed workers, but there will be features specific to your needs that you'll also need to look at too. It's always worthwhile taking a little extra time to research your options carefully before making a final decision.

Finding The Most Affordable Self Employed Health Insurance Policies

Quite often, workers who are self employed don't consider getting health insurance because they feel they won't be able to afford it, but affordable plans are becoming increasingly more available these days with all the changes to the health plan environment - you just have to know where to find them. Looking on the internet is a great way to start your search for affordable health insurance, and it makes it easy to compare rates and find the policies that will best meet your needs - so you can get on with running your business knowing that you've got your health covered.

Best Place to Look for Self Employed Health Insurance?

What Do You Think?

With the upcoming election, who's health policies do you think will do more for self employed workers?

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