8 Health Insurance Options for Self-Employed Freelancers + How to Handle Health Insurance as a Freelancer

Freelancer Health Insurance

Health insurance is a complicated and oftentimes frustrating topic that we aren’t given much direction on – AND I know it’s a topic that often prevents would-be-amazing freelancers from making the career change they dream of.

If “health insurance” is the reason you’re not freelancing or working for yourself yet…

I have good news, and that is: there are plenty of great health insurance options out there for freelancers.

More freelancers (and budding freelancers) need to know their options – so we did the research for you to help you finally cross “figure out health insurance” off your list.

*Note: This will be separated into sections for USA readers and then non-US specific readers so it is super clear which ones may apply to you in your country.

**And second note: We are not healthcare professionals. We do not know what’s best for you and your health situation – please consult professionals for that. We’ve just done our research and gathered up the possible options for you.

🔑 Key Health Insurance Terms to Know

Before we dive in, here are 2 health insurance-related terms to clarify quickly:

  1. Premium – This is the amount you pay every month for your health insurance to have access to it. If you pay $200/month for health insurance, $200 is your premium.
  2. Deductibles – This is how much you will have to pay out of your own pocket BEFORE your health insurance will begin to cover your expenses. As an example, if you choose to have a $1000 deductible on your health insurance plan, you will have to pay the first $1000 (every year) for any medical bills yourself BEFORE your health insurance will pay.

    You can decide if you want to opt for a higher deductible on your plan to get a lower monthly premium.

Questions to Ask Yourself Before Choosing a Health Insurance Plan

2 questions to ask yourself as you dive into doing health insurance research are:

  1. How much coverage do you want?

    How extensive do you want it to be? Or, how extensive does it need to be for your current situation?
  2. Will you be traveling at all or be mostly stationary?

    If you’ll be traveling, you may want to consider global health insurance to make sure you are covered while out of your country of origin.

🇺🇸 5 Health Insurance Options for USA Freelancers

Okay – let’s dive in.

Let’s start in the US where it is probably the hardest to find an affordable option for health insurance.

If you are in the US, it is a great idea to explore all your options before you choose a health insurance plan that is right for you.

According to the World Population Review, the US spends the most on healthcare per person, every year, and this can then translate into pricey healthcare for individuals – to the tune of $3200 per person.

The good news is, that even though American health insurance is expensive, you may qualify for a better plan or lower premiums than you would with a traditional employer, depending on your situation.

This is because most company group plans don’t reflect the very different needs of individuals and families.

Being self-employed allows you to choose the exact type and amount of coverage that makes sense for you – and that could save you money, big time.

Because health insurance varies by state, it would be wise to do your own individualized research, of course.

Option #1: Age-Specific Laws – USA

If you are under 26 years old – congratulations! Since 2010, under the Affordable Care Act (or ACA) you can now stay on your parents’ plan until your 26th birthday.

If you are over 65, you qualify for Medicare, and a large portion of your health costs are covered by the government, too.

Option #2: Health Insurance Marketplace – USA

The ACA is a viable option for some freelancers or businesses. Plans are divided into 4 categories: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum, with each varying in quality and coverage.

Depending on your family size and income, you may qualify for lower rates. Most freelancers qualify as low-income when they are just getting started.

In the USA, it can qualify you for lower health insurance premiums.

The health insurance premium and subsidy calculator can help you get an estimate of your unique health insurance coverage!

Option #3: COBRA – USA

If you are considering quitting a job where you have health insurance, you may be able to benefit from COBRA (or the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act – but that’s a mouthful!).

A government rule from 1986 offers former employees the right to extend their coverage, typically for up to 36 months, by taking over their premium payments.

This could be a super beneficial option for those who are leaving traditional jobs to begin a freelancing career, as a temporary solution while you sort out your next steps and grow your freelance business.

Option #4: The Freelancer’s Union – USA

They offer health insurance plans for self-employed people in multiple states, including New York, California, Florida, and Texas.

Its mission is to secure a better future for the self-employed in America. They are free to join and worth checking out!

With over 56 million Americans doing some kind of freelancing last year, hopefully, this type of insurance group will become more and more popular.

Check out the Freelancer’s Union.

Option #5: Start Saving for Medical Expenses Before You Quit Your Job – USA

This tip won’t apply to everyone because let’s face it, it can be super hard to save money sometimes! But if you can swing it, it is a great idea to have some money put aside before you leave your company plan.

The deductibles on lower-costing plans can be very high, it is a great idea to put away an amount equal to or greater than your deductible in a high-yield saving account before you leave your job and, hopefully, not have to use it.

Then it doubles as an emergency fund – which is so important when you’re starting out.

For example, choose a $300 a month plan, but have the $5,000 deductible set aside just in case!

Interested in starting your freelance journey as a freelance Digital Business Manager? Have a look at my FREE masterclass below for details on how you can get started towards your dream freelancing career.

Want ALL the details on how to work online as a digital business manager?

Check out my FREE intro class which goes over what exactly a DBM does day-to-day, how much I make as a DBM, my 5-step plan to get you started and more!

🌍 3 Non-USA Specific Health Insurance Options for Freelancers

Alright so let’s talk now about non-US-specific health insurance options for freelancers.

Just for context – I’m writing this as a non-American and have never lived in the USA; I’ve almost always been covered by public health insurance where the amount that I paid per month depended on where I lived.

The only time I wasn’t on public health insurance was when I was traveling full-time; I had global private health insurance at that point. From my experience, my global private health insurance was great. It was with NOW Health – and I paid around €200 – €300 a month.

Many countries have universal healthcare coverage.

This means a mix of single-payer, socialized, and privatized care, but with one main similarity: everyone is included and contributes. This ensures that healthy people help offset the costs of sick people.

In Europe, health insurance plans vary by country but most have some type of universal healthcare.

I can’t go into each country’s particular system – but option 2 below will be super helpful for getting something customized to you and your needs.

Option #1: Chamber of Commerce Group Insurance Plans

You may qualify for insurance through some professional organizations, like your city’s chamber of commerce.

These are geared towards small- to medium-sized businesses, and allow you to match your needs with your company’s budget.

By pooling resources among business owners, these plans allow small businesses to access coverage that used to only be available to large corporations. Definitely worth checking out!

Option #2: Use a Health Insurance Broker

To help you find the best coverage for your unique situation, consider using a health insurance broker.

A health insurance broker is a licensed benefits professional who help individuals and businesses navigate the health insurance selection process from start to finish.

I honestly did not know this was a thing – but I ended up using the broker Pacific Prime to find my global health insurance called Now Health when traveling and it was AMAZING.

The consultations were completely free (I assume they get a kickback when we select a provider through them), and our contact was incredibly helpful and found me tons of options VERY specific to my situation: where I wanted to travel, how much coverage I wanted, deductibles, my citizenship, etc.

And they helped me secure the health insurance PLUS they offer help submitting claims as well.

This is in my experience, the BEST option for anyone who feels overwhelmed by the process of researching and selecting your own coverage, which I assume is most of us.

They will go through all your options with you and tailor you a plan to fit your unique situation and budget.

Option #3: Partnership

This is just a final quick option – if you have a spouse or domestic partner with a traditional job that provides benefits, you can sign up to receive benefits under their plan.

Easy and effective. Not everyone has access to this option, but we included this option because if it does apply to you, it is the easiest and most obvious option to get great coverage.

Being self-employed can be advantageous in some situations when it comes to health insurance.

Employer-provided plans tend to be one size fits all, while individual plans allow you to choose the exact type and amount of coverage that makes sense for you.

Hopefully, that’s shed light on what can be a complicated and potentially annoying topic to deal with.

If you’re currently working as a freelancer already and have found a health insurance solution you like, let us know in the sharing comment circle here on Youtube.

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Want ALL the juicy details on how to work online as a digital business manager?

Check out my FREE intro class which goes over what exactly a digital business manager does day-to-day, how much I make as a DBM, my 5-step plan to get you started and more!

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Want ALL the juicy details on how to work online as a digital business manager?

Check out my FREE intro class which goes over what exactly a digital business manager does day-to-day, how much I make as a DBM, my 5-step plan to get you started and more!