Among the millions of individual expected to buy health insurance through the Marketplace are sole proprietors. Under the Affordable Care Act, self-employed people without employees are considered individuals even if they hire independent contractors. This doesn’t exempt them from purchasing insurance.
Regardless of the job title, one problem remains the same: finding affordable coverage. If it is simply not within your means, help is available. The health care reform law tackles this issue.
Currently, many self-employed individuals lack health coverage and if you are scouring the web for the best ways to get insured, here are your options:
Keep your current health plan. If you have a grandfathered plan, you can keep it. However, these plans might not have the same protection, for example, it doesn’t have to cover you if you have a pre-existing condition. Many self-employed individuals are likely to purchase catastrophic coverage, but those plans won’t likely to meet the requirements under the new law.
Purchase a plan from the Marketplace. Solo entrepreneurs may benefit from federal subsidies through the Marketplace. From there you will be able to compare plans including deductibles, premiums, and out-of-pocket costs. All plans offer essential health benefits such as emergency services, lab works, hospitalization, prescription drug coverage and more.
Find a plan outside the Marketplace. You can also buy health insurance outside the exchange. We know the market well and can offer you options that suit your needs.
Hire full-time staff. Another option you have is to have an employee. As a micro business, you are not required to purchase health insurance for your employees. This makes you eligible for coverage in the SHOP Marketplace. Qualified small businesses may be eligible for tax credits that can help lower the cost of offering health insurance to employees. Outside the exchange, you can also look into group premiums for 2 or more employees.
A spouse’s plan. Some self-employed individuals are fortunate to have an insured spouse with an employer who offers family coverage. Typically, your partner will pay a higher premium for but it will still be less than having an individual policy.
COBRA. Employers are required by federal law to offer COBRA carry-over health and dental coverage for up to 18 months when you leave your job. For more details about COBRA coverage, go to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Not sure what type of health insurance you need? Contact us today