The following article is a guest post.
Traditional health insurance plans have growing costs, which can be intimidating to those looking to begin their own freelancing careers.
Whether you’re just starting your own business or you’ve been looking into different options that suit your needs, there are several alternatives to traditional health insurance that might be a better option than conventional plans.
It is worth doing your research to determine if there is an alternative option which both protects your health and your wallet.
1. Primary Care Memberships
In recent years, more and more primary care facilities are offering their own membership plans for those without insurance.
These can sometimes even be cheaper than having insurance, and they aren’t limited to doctor offices. Dentists, eye doctors, chiropractors and more have been launching their own membership initiatives.
Membership programs generally require a monthly fee like a gym membership. This fee gives patients access to routine care like physicals, blood tests, and more without worrying about a copay. If you decide a primary care membership is for you, be sure to consider a high-deductible, low-premium policy in case of catastrophic injury or illness.
2. Open a Health Savings Account (HSA)
Health savings accounts are usually arranged through employers, but they can be set up by individuals as well. All payments made into these accounts are pretax deductions and can cover medical expenses such as doctor visits and medications. They also usually involve coverage for a catastrophic illness or injury.
Health saving accounts generally come with a debit card which is used to pay for everything from surgical procedures to prescription medications.
The best advantage of HSAs is that you own your own account. The money is yours to do what you wish with as long as it’s spent solely on medical related expenses.
Often times your HSA can even be used to pay for over-the-counter medications! All interest earned on your HSA is tax-deferred and there are no taxes on any withdrawals from the account. HSAs are an excellent option for freelancers.
3. Cost-Sharing Programs
Medical cost-sharing programs are a popular choice among freelancers. Members of these programs pay monthly fees similar to insurance premiums and in the case of medical costs members pay incidental fees. The pool of members share costs and can even negotiate discounts with certain physicians and hospitals to keep the costs low.
The monthly fees for medical cost-sharing programs are often cheaper than traditional insurance making them solid choices for freelancers.
4. High-Deductible Policy
If you’re young and in generally good health, you might only need a high-deductible insurance policy since you don’t expect many (or any) medical costs within a year.
These low-premium policies only give coverage for major injury or treatment while keeping other costs to an absolute minimum.
5. Supplement Plan
If you know you have a need for a lot of medical coverage, you might want to look into a supplement plan. While regular insurance plans leave you paying deductibles and copays, a supplement plan is an easy way to bridge the gaps in costs.
Medicare supplement plans are popular for those who qualify for medicare and need the extra coverage. Critical illness insurance or disease specific insurance is a smart choice if you suffer from disease related burdens.
Alternative to Traditional Health Insurance
Freelancers often struggle to find a way to cover their own health expenses. These intimidating costs can even scare potential freelancers away from starting their own business for fear of medical expenses. Luckily, there are more options now than ever before for freelancers looking to purchase alternatives to traditional health insurance.