If you are self-employed or if your current employer doesn't offer health insurance, you may need to buy your own coverage. While many insurance companies offer health insurance plans, it can be a long process looking for health insurance on your own. In addition, with the changes brought about in insurance coverage by the Affordable Care Act, you have more insurance options than ever before.
Health Insurance for the Self-Employed
There are millions of people in the United States who work for themselves and need to find insurance. These self-employed workers include freelance photographers, writers or independent contractors in various industries. Many of these workers, whether they work full-time or on a reduced schedule due to being officially "retired," are looking for health insurance.
Buying health insurance on your own usually isn't cheap. The cost of the premium will depend on several factors like the state in which you live, your age, how healthy you are, or in some cases you are not, and the type of policy that you want. Even though your health insurance premiums may be expensive, if you are self-employed, you can deduct one hundred percent of the costs from your income on your federal taxes when you buy your own coverage.
There are many ways to seek out health insurance when you are self-employed. If you are a writer, a lawyer or even just a college graduate, you may be able to find insurance plans through a professional association. Many alumni associations, professional organizations like the bar association and other trade groups offer health care plans. When you are looking for health insurance, think of any associations you might be qualified to join and sign-up if you can buy health insurance through them.
If you are married and your spouse has health insurance through his or her employer, you might be able to get on your spouse's insurance through a family plan. The premium will be higher for a family plan than an individual insurance plan, but it will be less than any insurance premium you could get for yourself.
Many insurance plans will not let relatives be added until it is time for the plan's open enrollment period, which is usually in November or December. If you have children, even if they are younger adult children, they should be covered under the family plan as well.
Health Insurance for Uninsured Workers
If you work for a company that doesn't offer health insurance, many small businesses do not, and then you will need to find your own healthcare plan. If you qualify by income, you can find health insurance through the Affordable Care Act, dubbed Obamacare by many, by looking through the health insurance marketplace at Healthcare.gov.
The available healthcare plans will differ from state to state, so you will need to indicate where you live and fill out the questionnaire on the site to find the plans for which you qualify. Depending on your yearly income, you should be able to find many affordable plans for yourself and/or your family. The marketplace also has information on business plans. This is also a good option for people who are self-employed.
Pre-Existing Condition Plans
If you have a pre-existing medical condition and have been turned down for coverage and haven't had coverage for six months or longer, you may be able to find a plan through your state. Every state is required to offer plans for people with pre-existing medical conditions, called Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan, or PCIP. Call your state's insurance office for more information.
Buying Your Own Insurance
If you do not qualify for the ACA and need to continue looking for health insurance, there are several websites in which you can find information on health insurance plans. Instead of going to individual insurance company sites, you can look at sites that compare dozens of plans in your area to find the one best suited for you. The premiums may be quite high, but if you were to get sick, paying medical bills out of your pocket may be impossible to do.
There are many options for people looking for health insurance coverage for themselves or their families, even if one of you has a pre-existing medical condition.