How to Pick the Best Health Insurance When You’re Self Employed

When it comes to picking the best health insurance plan for self-employed, a lot of changes have taken place in the past few years. The subsidized insurance plan was precarious before the affordable care act. Those with pre-existing health conditions often got low coverage, while healthy self-employed seekers could find insurers that allow annual caps or lifetime caps with lots of benefits. The insurance market is constantly changing, so it’s important to stay up to date, especially if you are self-employed and responsible for your own coverage.

Comparison shop

If you wish to get the best health insurance plan for your budget and needs then you need a wide vision of what’s available. You can buy a health insurance plan from the insurance company directly or go through state agencies. Through the online health insurance marketplace, you will be able to compare different plans that are being offered by the leading carriers.

Moreover, you can compare benefits, rates and customer reviews when applying for the coverage’s. Since the insurance prices get regulated by the state insurance department, you will have to pay the definite amount as a monthly premium when you buy it online or offline.

“Check rates directly through the providers, as many private insurance options exist. The state agencies are typically for those looking to qualify for low-priced plans. If you are looking for quality coverage as a self-employed individual or family, private insurance direct from the providers is usually a great option,” says Darryl Howard of NuWays MD.

Lock-in rates

When you decide to purchase a private health insurance plan, keep in mind that the insurance company periodically increased monthly premiums from year to year. Rate guarantee will temporarily protect you when you shop for coverage. Some carriers lock-in rates for the very first year of the policy. However, others may lock rates for the longer time period.

“Rates can fluctuate often, and you are never locked in until you are approved, signed and your first premium payment is made. If you see an attractive plan and rate while comparison shopping it’s a good idea to lock in the rate quickly,” says Dana VanDeCar, COO of Optimally Organic.

At tax time deduct the health insurance premiums

If you are self-employed, you can deduct your insurance premiums for yourself on your tax returns. However, be aware that you do not deduct premium paid for the particular month in which you are eligible to take part in health insurance plan, and the amount deduced must not be greater than your yearly income.

“Before you deduct anything, talk to a tax professional and learn more about self-employment status and implications of your state. This is why using a professional to prepare your tax returns when self-employed is a very wise choice,” says Jake Braun of ChopperExchange, a website that provides tips to sell your Harley.

Do get the subsidies

Always choose an insurance plan that provides subsidies and buy the best available health plan through the state marketplace.

Coverage option for self-employed

When you are about to fill out an insurance marketplace application you will find a premium tax credit. This is entirely based on your household size and your income. Also, you will able to find out whether you are eligible for low-cost coverage or free coverage through the program in your current state.

“Low-cost coverage has to do with household size and income, and the only way to know if you qualify is to complete the application. A lot of self-employed individuals will not qualify if their income is above certain levels,” explains Luqman Khan of Wireloo, a water dispenser buying guide website.

Common questions to consider:

Who is covered under the insurance plan?

You probably want to cover your dependents along with yourself, so ask for different coverage options to see what the most affordable and best coverage option is for your family.

Do you maintain a saving cushion?

If you don’t maintain a saving cushion of funds in the bank, you might want to buy a health insurance plan with a low deductible. If you fail to maintain savings, then be ready to pay for a higher deductible plan.

How much did you spend on health care the previous year?

It is important to know how much on average you spend on healthcare, as this will help you select a plan that is likely to meet your needs.

By Allen Coombs