Five Do’s And Don’ts If You Are A Freelancer Looking For A Health Insurance Plan
Over the past eight years or so, health insurance for freelancers has undergone a sea of change. Before 2010, workers who could not avail employer-subsidized health insurance were in an insecure position. While healthy self-employed Americans could still avail affordable health insurance plans, people with pre-existing health conditions often had to shell out more. However, with Affordable Care Act already in place, freelancers in 2018 have many more options than usual. For example, they can even qualify for tax credit now. If you are a freelancer and looking for a health insurance plan for yourself, here are five do’s and don’ts for you.
DO Know The Basics
The Affordable Care Act requires states to run their own marketplaces or exchanges, or they can simply use the marketplace of the federal government. These state-run exchanges offer a platform for private insurers to sell their health plans to Americans who cannot get health insurance coverage from any other provider. Under the Act, several subsidies have also been created, and you can actually reduce your health insurance cost by opting for these subsidies. You can learn all the basics by visiting the government website healthcare (dot) gov.
DO Get Subsidies
The good news for you is that now you can get your premiums slashed down if you know how to buy the best insurance plans. The average premium of $396 is before tax credits, but the average American pays only $106 every month after tax credits. Credits cover middle-class families, too. If you are earning less than four hundred percent of the national poverty level (that’s $97,200 for a whole family and $47250 for an individual), you are entitled to subsidies. Even if you are not entitled to subsidies, you can still find a wide range of insurance plans through the websites of insurers. These plans often offer better benefits compared to Obamacare plans.
DO NOT Go For Short-Term Health Plans
Many freelancers are cutting down health insurance costs by clubbing a few short-term health insurance plans with lower monthly premiums. However, these short-term insurance plans are not alternatives to traditional health insurance plans. This is because many of these plans do not comply with the standards set by the Affordable Care Act. This essentially means that your insurance provider might discriminate against you based on pre-existing conditions, and you might be deprived of coverage on services like prescription drugs and preventive care. Also, since these plans are not fully compliant with the standards, they are not considered as insurance plans.
DO Consider Skimpier Coverage Under Obamacare
It’s a good way to get your premiums down. If you opt for a higher deductible, you have to pay more out of your pocket in case you fall sick. However, if you have sound health overall, you can actually max out your savings with lower monthly insurance premiums. For availing skimpier coverage under Obamacare, you have to be 30 years old or even younger. Skimpy plans help insured freelancers to save a lot on monthly premiums. If you are more than 30 years old, you should go for a bronze plan instead which is supposed to cover sixty percent of your out-of-pocket expenses. Most Americans, however, go for the silver plan since the tax credit is calculated on the second lowest cost — so go for this plan if you want.
DO NOT Miss Your Deadlines
If you still do not have a health insurance, it’s possibly too late. Insurers are not anymore allowed to discriminate against buyers who might have pre-existing conditions. Generally speaking, you can buy a health insurance plan during the open enrolment period. Follow the government website to know when it starts or when it ends. However, there are few exceptions, too.
As a freelancer or self-employed person, you can almost always reduce the cost of your health insurance plan, even if your deductible expenses do not cross the standard deduction limit. On top of that, your health insurance plan would also reduce your taxable income, and this can be a huge benefit during tax season. In any case, it always makes sense for just about everybody to consult a tax attorney before opting for any kind of insurance plan.
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