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Affordable Health Insurance for the Freelancer

By Compuquotes Team on April 19th, 2008
Health Insurance

Health insurance is an expensive part of any budget. If your employer provides health insurance you may not realize exactly how expensive health insurance truly is. Before you leave a full time job to freelance, you should determine how you will pay for your health insurance and make sure that you can afford it. As expensive as health insurance is, it is disastrous not to have this coverage.

The easiest and least expensive way to have health insurance as a freelancer is to sign on to your spouse's plan. While the cost of spousal coverage is not as low as the coverage the employee receives, it is significantly cheaper than any other option you will find. Of course, not everyone is married, and not every spouse has health insurance. There are other ways to find affordable healthcare as a freelancer.

If you are currently employed and have health insurance, your company may be required to provide COBRA coverage. This coverage extends your insurance for up to 18 months. The cost of COBRA coverage is not cheap, however. You will be responsible for not only your part of the insurance costs, but the portion that was paid by the employer as well.

Another way to purchase health insurance if you are a freelancer is by joining a professional group or association. These groups can buy health insurance as a group, in much the same way that an employer does, reducing the costs, although you will still be responsible for the total cost, so it will be higher than insurance through the workplace. Some states offer group healthcare policies for the self employed as well. Contact your state's insurance board to determine if they offer this type of program.

The last resort for many people is to privately purchase health insurance. Without the group buying power of a company or association, this can be extremely expensive. It is a cost that must be considered before entering the freelance arena.

  • Ways to Save Money

Once you have decided to enter the freelance life, it can be hard to go back to a more traditional job. To make freelancing work, it is important to have affordable and quality healthcare insurance available. There are several ways that you can save money on insurance, making it more affordable. The easiest way to lower the cost of healthcare insurance is to reduce the type of coverage that you have. As an employee, you may have had 15 dollar deductibles and four dollar prescriptions, but those days are over. Forgo insurance for routine doctor visits and prescriptions. Build up your savings so that you can pay these expenses out of pocket. Even if you can find a private insurer that will offer this type of coverage, the cost would be prohibitive.

Like other types of insurance, the best way to lower the premium is to raise the deductible. In healthcare insurance this means purchasing insurance that covers hospital visits and major illnesses, not routine medical visits. While it can be difficult to get into the habit of paying for these visits out of pocket, the cost savings is substantial.

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