If you are part of the 36% of U.S. workers earning their income in the gig economy, then you know that one of your biggest expenses is often health insurance. Understanding where to find the best health plans can be overwhelming, but skipping insurance can be a risky decision.
Here are several options to consider if you are a freelancer looking to purchase affordable health insurance .
Temporary coverage, or COBRA, can be a good option while you get started in your freelance position and shop for the best long-term options. Extending your previous employer’s coverage for a few months is a smart way to protect yourself during an interim period.
If this option is available to you, it will often be the most affordable choice for your family. That said, do your own research to be sure that this is truly the best option for your needs and to see if you’ll want more coverage in addition to what their employer offers.
Particularly in major cities, there are more and more offerings on the market specifically designed for the self-employed. The Freelancer’s Union has a lot of great resources on their website, including a survey to help you understand the coverage you need. Oscar offers an app interface and customized care options, catering to patient-focused care.
There are several online marketplaces designed to help you choose a plan that best fits your needs. eHealth offers an explanation of what to consider when making a purchase. And of course, you should consider shopping the ACA Health Insurance Marketplace, to evaluate if any plans are a good fit for you.
Depending on your field of work, you may be able to get group insurance through an association membership . The group insurance allows individuals to band together as members of a group (of self-employed workers), which is similar to the group insurance available through an employer. Some alumni organizations also offer group insurance options, so call your alma mater to check.
Beyond health insurance, there are other types of coverage you may want to consider as well – including disability, life, and business liability insurance. Take some time each year to evaluate what you can afford to spend and what you can’t afford to risk as a self-employed worker.
Regardless of which health insurance option you choose, there are ways to make prescriptions more affordable for freelancers in the gig economy:
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