A common question for digital marketers and entrepreneurs is whether or not they need a health insurance policy. Most freelancers who work on marketing projects on the side of a 9-5 work schedule are already equipped with an insurance policy. But what about the freelancers that work in marketing full time for themselves?
Benefits of Health Insurance
While the benefits of health insurance may seem obvious to the average person, it’s important to clarify exactly what people can expect with a health insurance policy.
First, a health insurance policy grants a person access to hospitals and doctors. Private medical practices are hesitant to work with people who don’t have an insurance policy already. It’s much easier for a medical provider to know they are being paid through an insurance carrier rather than providing services without getting prompt payment. It then means the medical office’s secretary has to chase the person down to get them to pay their bills. With an insurance policy, doctors don’t have to worry about this and you – the freelancer – are able to get the medical care you need.
Second, and the most popular reason to have health insurance, is due to the cost. Seeing a doctor or medical professional without insurance guarantees you will pay a higher premium for services. For the reasons described above, a doctor is less likely to work with someone without insurance and will therefore charge more. As you can see, having an insurance policy for your health is important.
How Do Freelancers Get Health Insurance?
Unlike working for a company that will provide a group health insurance policy, an independent worker or freelancer must find their own insurance carrier and policy. The easiest way to do this is to find an insurance agent in your local area. This insurance agent will be the most knowledgeable about different health policies and what is right for your specific situation. To find the best agent in your area, start with an online search. You can use services like Yelp, Facebook and Google to see reviews of insurance carriers. You can also search your local area + health insurance agent to find the nearest provider. For example, customers in Oregon would want to search “health insurance agent in Bend, OR” to find a list of nearby brokers in the city of Bend.
Because you’ll be purchasing an individual health insurance policy, you’ll need to expect to pay more than if you worked for a company. For example, a person might pay $100 a month for a health insurance policy through their employer. Since they will not benefit from a group policy, an individual policy owner should expect to pay closer to $300 for the same policy. This is due to the fact that a group health insurance policy receives discounts based on volume (the number of employees).
How to Get Started
As mentioned, the best way to find an insurance policy for you is to meet with your insurance broker. They will be able to answer any questions you have about insurance for independent workers. Whether you’re a digital marketer, a graphic designer or you build websites for fun, it’s important for you to be insured and have the right healthcare plan. Take a look at your current expenses and decide what is best for you – depending on your monthly finances, you may opt for a plan with a high deductible and low monthly premium.
If you recently signed up for insurance as a freelancer, let us know how it went in the comments!