The Need For Supplemental Health Insurance
Most employer-sponsored health benefits are supplemental insurance. That’s because all Canadians have coverage under the public healthcare system.
The public healthcare system has some gaps in it. These include things like dental coverage and vision care. Prescription medications are another common expense Canadians have to fund out-of-pocket.
Self-employed Ontarians still have coverage under the Ontario Health Insurance Plan, or OHIP. You can still visit the ER or see your doctor, so long as you have a valid health card.
As discussed, OHIP doesn’t cover every medical expense you’re likely to encounter. That’s why so many Canadian employers offer health insurance as part of their benefits plans.
Not all Canadians employers offer supplemental health insurance. Self-employed Ontarions most definitely don’t have access to company-sponsored benefits plans.
Nonetheless, supplemental health insurance is a good idea for the self-employed. A private health insurance plan can help you get access to the coverage you need.
Out-of-pocket costs have been increasing in recent years. Canadians like you are paying more for healthcare. The self-employed often pay more since they don’t have coverage.
Beware Of Health Ministries And Other Non
You may come across alternative health coverage options called health sharing ministries. While these organizations give you some form of health coverage for a much lower cost, plans are typically extremely limited, exclude preexisting conditions, and work more like pre-Affordable Care Act insurance plans where they reject many claims.
A quick Google search for healthshare horror stories yielded thousands of stories of people denied coverage for common needs like maternity care and hospital stays for kids. These plans are legally not considered insurance, and no payout is guaranteed.
Think Outside The Box
Depending on your particular circumstances, there are additional affordable health insurance options available to you. For instance, if you’re a student, your college or university may offer a student health insurance plan. If you’re active in or retired from the military, you may qualify for TRICARE. Those who are senior citizens or have certain disabilities may be eligible for government-issued Medicare.
Another option for young adults: You can stay on your parents’ family plan until you turn 26. That could become tricky if you move to a different state, warns Nechrebecki, because then you may be forced to see more expensive out-of-network doctors.
Aikman notes that there are also faith-based plans that are not ACA-compliant. These are usually called health care sharing ministries . Since they are religious in nature, some don’t cover health care costs like birth control or elective abortions, so they tend to be more restrictive in terms of coverage. But on the flip side, they also tend to be less expensive than other health insurance for freelancers.
Also Check: Does Starbucks Provide Health Insurance
Advantages Of Pmi For The Self
Self-employed workers need some room to manoeuvre within their PMI cover.
If youre hospitalised unexpectedly, need regular clinic treatment, or require more expensive treatment, PMI puts you in front of a specialist, fast
For instance, its an expensive business if youre based in Portsmouth but the insurers nearest approved hospital is in London
A good policy – particularly for freelancers – will flex for the wishes of the patient, offering a choice of appointment times and locations, practitioners and healthcare facilities.
But, that flexibility must be represented in your policy upon purchase, so choose carefully.
Most policies are based on a hospital list, says Walters and insurers have not traditionally controlled which specialists their members see, but this is starting to be introduced on some cheaper plans.
As always, check the policy terms for wiggle room before purchasing.
Independent Contractor Or Freelancer: Does It Make A Difference
According to the IRS, an individual is an independent contractor if the payer has the right to control or direct only the result of the work and not what will be done and how it will be done. The payer may be a client organization the individual contracts with or the general public. But there is no employer-employee relationship. Doctors, accountants, and lawyers in private practice are typically classified as independent contractors.
A freelance worker is a temporary, self-employed professional who provides products and services to multiple organizations. Freelancers often work for many clients and take on as many projects as their schedule allows. Freelancers include journalists, copywriters, graphic designers, and web programmers.
Whether you consider yourself an independent contractor, freelancer or other self-employed individual, you are likely to be on your own to get your health insurance coverage. Health insurance for freelancers and independent contractors is an imperative. When youre sick or injured, you arent working and you arent getting paid sick days. You are facing potentially staggering medical expenses.
Read Also: Starbucks Benefits For Part Time Employees
Find Cheap Health Insurance Quotes In Your Area
Finding health insurance is often the greatest hurdle, one that gives workers pause before jumping headlong into self-employment. If you’re thinking about going freelance, you may be wondering: Are there affordable health insurance plans for freelancers? Am I able to purchase private health insurance, or do I need to buy a government health insurance policy?
There’s not one easy answer that suits every person, but understanding how health insurance for freelancers works and knowing what options are available will help you make an informed decision.
Why Should I Consider Health Insurance If I’m Self
More than 15% of the UK working population is self-employed. Thats around 4.86 million people. Yet its estimated that 93% of these have no health insurance or critical illness cover in place.
Taking out the right health insurance policy could offer the following benefits:
- Shorter waiting times – currently the average waiting time for an NHS referral is more than 18 weeks.
- Access to private health facilities and treatment at a time to suit you.
- Private accommodation in a hospital or clinic.
- Possible access to more advanced treatments and medications not available on the NHS.
You May Like: Do Starbucks Employees Get Health Insurance
Limited Benefits Insurance Plans
Limited Benefits Insurance Plans don’t offer minimum essential coverage as defined by the Affordable Care Act. However, these are insurance products that help to offset medical and health-related costs exceeding a certain threshold.These limited benefits insurance plans, offered by companies like Sidecar Health, are specifically designed to fall outside of ACA legislation. While that may sound shady on the surface, these plans often offer much lower premiums. And that can be useful when you’re on the hunt for self-employed health insurance.
Since the plans aren’t regulated by the ACA, they can use health screenings to vary prices based on risk. Hence, young and healthy people are likely to get a great deal. If you want a standard health insurance plan, visit HealthCare.gov. But if affordability is your top priority, Limited Benefits Insurance Plans are a reasonable alternative to consider.
Go With Term Life Insurance
Term life insurance provides life insurance coverage for a specific amount of time and if you die during that term, your family will receive a payout from the insurance policy. Its much less expensive and by far abetter value than whole life and other types of cash value insurance. Its the only way to go!
One of the biggest insurance myths out there is that you will always need life insurance. Thats just not the case! Heres the truth: You wont need life insurance forever if you plan wisely, dump debt, and build wealth. Well get into that in a second.
The Cpp And Employment Insurance
Self-employed workers in Ontario also qualify for some other benefits. You’ll need to pay both the employer and employee part of the Canada Pension Plan and Employment Insurance.
This is good news for the self-employed since these programs can help cover a variety of leaves. In the context of health, the CPP can provide disability insurance. The EI program may be able to help you through more short-term illnesses.
Neither program offers much in the way of traditional health insurance coverage. Your best bet is still supplemental health insurance.
Health Insurance Options For Freelancers And Independent Contractors
You can find health insurance through one of several possible avenues as an independent contractor, freelancer or consultant. These options include:
- Parent, Spouse, or Domestic Partners Group Health Plan
- Affordable Care Act Individual and Family Health Insurance Plan
- Short-Term Health Insurance
- COBRA Coverage
Each of these options have advantages and drawbacks, as well as different factors that will determine if you qualify. Lets take a look at each plan type to see what works best for you.
You May Like: How To Enroll In Starbucks Health Insurance
Gms Health Insurance Plans
SBIS knows your insurance decisions are important, and thats why we also offer GMS Personal Health and Replacement Health plans. GMS plans are the easy, cost-effective way to protect you and your family from the growing list of healthcare costs not covered by your government health plan.
You select your core bundle of benefits and then choose the level of prescription drug, dental and travel protection that suits your needs. That makes GMS plans an affordable choice for any budget.
Choose a Personal Health plan if you are looking for a complete wellness package.
GMS Replacement Health benefit plans are available when youre leaving your employers benefit plan to start your next adventure.
To learn more about our Prism programs or other self-employed health insurance options available through Manulife or GMS, request your no-obligation quote or free information package today!
Work With An Insurance Pro
We know trying to figure out all the details involved with self-employed insurance can be overwhelming. You need an expert who can answer your questions and help you find out exactly what kind of insurance you need and compare rates so you can find the best policies for you.
Our independent insurance Endorsed Local Providers are professionals who work with several insurance companies to help you find the right coverage at the right price. If you have questions about what insurance youll need, theyre the ones to ask. Find your ELP today!
About the author
Ramsey Solutions has been committed to helping people regain control of their money, build wealth, grow their leadership skills, and enhance their lives through personal development since 1992. Millions of people have used our financial advice through 22 books published by Ramsey Press, as well as two syndicated radio shows and 10 podcasts, which have over 17 million weekly listeners.
Selecting A Health Insurance Policy That Works For You
When deciding between multiple health insurance plans, its a good idea to compare quotes from different providers to ensure youre getting the best deal. The Health Insurance Marketplace allows you to quickly and easily compare quotes from providers and compare information like premiums, deductibles, copays, and covered services.
Once youve decided on a plan, the next step is to enroll in a policy. Youll have to select your chosen policy on the Marketplace and pay your first premium before coverage goes into effect. To pay your premium, youll typically be redirected to the health insurance companys website. Customers will receive their health insurance card within a few weeks after signing up for a policy. Once your coverage has gone into effect, you can begin to take advantage of your health insurance coverage by making appointments to address any medical issues or concerns. Some plans even have other perks to take advantage of, like free gym memberships.
What If I Lose My Job And Become Self
If you lose your job, you may be able to remain on your employers group policy for 18 to 36 months. You have 60 days to make the election. This is part of the COBRA program. The insurance costs can be high because your employer will not provide any financial support. You are responsible for 100% of your COBRA premiums plus a 2% administrative fee.
No matter why you left your job, you can apply for an ACA or a short-term plan. If you already have an ACA plan, then you can keep it. You can also apply for tax subsidies if you meet the income requirements.
Don’t Miss: Starbucks Open Enrollment 2018
Dhs Announces $2 Million In Funding To Help Wisconsinites Access Affordable Health Insuranceyour Browser Indicates If You’ve Visited This Link
DHS Secretary-designee Karen Timberlake today at an open enrollment event in Appleton announced $2 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding for Covering Wisconsin to support efforts to make sure that Wisconsinites have the health care coverage they need for themselves and their families.
Do I Really Need Health Insurance
Health insurance is a very smart investment if you are starting to build your own business. Out-of-pocket health care is expensive. No one plans to get sick or hurt, but illnesses and injuries can happen at any time. In some cases, they can leave you with overwhelming medical bills.
Health insurance can not only help you save money on covered health services but also offers preventive services at no additional cost. Preventive care helps catch illnesses early and helps you stay healthy in the future. Also, the State of New Jersey has an individual health insurance coverage mandate, which requires New Jersey residents to have health insurance or possibly pay a fine.
You May Like: Starbucks Health Plan
Use A Broker Or Agent
There are often several tiers when it comes to health insurance plans. For example, there may be Platinum, Silver, or Bronzeall of which offer different coverage at different costs. A broker or agent can help you sort through all the options and jargon and find a plan thats right for you.
All states have a State Health Insurance Assistance Program , which can provide unbiased assistance finding a plan that fits your needs. You can also get unbiased assistance in finding a plan by calling the Marketplace helpline, or 1-800-Medicare .
What Affects Health Insurance Costs
Unlike other types of insurance, like home or auto insurance, where literally hundreds of factors can affect your rates, health insurance uses a limited number of individual rating factors that can affect your premiums.
- Age: Expect to pay more for your health insurance as you get older.
- Location: State rules and localized cost of services can affect your premiums.
- Tobacco use: Insurers can charge up to 50% more for tobacco users. However, some states prohibit the practice or limit the additional premium based on tobacco use.
- Individual vs. family: Plans that extend coverage to family members cost more than plans limited to individuals.
Plan features, such as the structure of the deductible or out-of-pocket limits, affect the cost of premiums as well.
You May Like: Starbucks Dental Insurance
What Is Not Covered By Self
Health insurance for freelancers and self-employed people only pays for private medical treatments. It is not a form of sick pay. You wont be able to claim moneyback if you take time off to recover. If you think youll need cover because you cant work, youll need income protection insurance. The insurer may not pay for certain conditions that could become chronic. But they could pay for something that is acute now. This includes illnesses like diabetes, arthritis or asthma. They also may not pay for any cosmetic procedures, or conditions related to deafness or blindness. Its always worth checking with the provider to make sure your policy includes the cover you need.
What Is Excluded From Coverage
A policy purchased on the Marketplace cannot exclude pre-existing conditions. However, the same cannot be said for short-term policies that can make their own rules on exclusions. It is essential to review the policy wording before making a purchase, in case the exclusions include something that you require coverage for.
Typical exclusions include:
- Conditions caused by smoking, drinking, or drug abuse
- Elective procedures
Recommended Reading: Does Starbucks Provide Health Insurance For Part Time Employees
What If You Have A Pre
If you are living with a pre-existing medical condition, you need to take extra care when taking out a health insurance policy. However, you should still be able to find cover for yourself, relatively trouble free. At Compare the Market, we bring you policies which are based on moratorium underwriting. This means you dont need to take a medical exam or necessarily have to disclose your entire medical history during your application. On the other hand, it means that you wont be covered for any specific conditions that youve had symptoms from, or received advice or treatment for, in the last five years. If youre free of symptoms or treatments for two years after taking out your policy, you may receive cover for a pre-existing condition. If you have a pre-existing condition, contact our partner Assured Futures.
How Does Health Insurance For The Self
Health insurance for the self-employed differs because you alone need to cover the full cost of the premium. Many employed people receive health insurance benefits, with the average employer paying 83% of the total health insurance cost, which averages $7,470.
If youre self-employed, youll have to fund the almost $10,000 annual cost, also considering out-of-pocket expenses, from your budget.
Don’t Miss: Can I Go To The Er Without Health Insurance
What Is The Average Cost Of Self
There are five factors that may impact the cost of self-employed health insurance for Affordable Care Act-compliant plans: age, location, tobacco use, individual vs. family plans, and plan category. Some states have rules about how much these factors may impact your monthly premiums.
Premiums may be up to three times higher for older workers, and tobacco users may pay up to 50% more. You may also pay more in a state with less competition among providers. The good news is companies cant charge more based on your gender, your current health status, or medical history.
Using Healthcare.gov, we ran a few quotes and saw that geography can have a huge impact on your premiums. The plans available in your area and level of competition are a very important factor in determining your prices. All other things being equal, we saw someone’s premiums change by hundreds per month depending on where they live.