Because freelancers are responsible for everything, you may not rule out your health insurance. Who better to say the importance of insurance than two freelance writers who happen to be personal finance experts?
Let's dive into a little more about how casual workers can use health insurance to build better plans for their future.
Miranda Marquit from Planting Money Seeds and Angela Nelson from The Work at Home Wife shared their thoughts and experiences with health insurance:
You have fewer safety nets
Don't get me wrong - maybe freelancers have a very strong safety net. You can grow your emergency fund and have a smart budget. But you don't get value like sick leave or disability insurance provided by the employer.
Even freelancers with the busiest have irregular income. You finish the project, the client leaves or - hopefully - you close a lot of new things. You don't want boring office work every day, but a little consistency in money doesn't always mean bad things.
To be honest: You might not want to pay for your health insurance every month, but isn't a low routine fee worth avoiding the high unexpected costs that medical bills can incur?
Look at Miranda's example from the case above: He broke his wrist and learned that, without health insurance, it would cost $ 40,000. It's like paying for a really good car, except that instead of a broken wrist, it is the worst ever.
Compare that to being part of the 80% of people who can get a health insurance policy for less than $ 75 a month. I counted the numbers, so you don't have to: with $ 75 a month, you can reach 533 months - almost 44 and a half years - before you spend $ 40,000.
Building a budget is easy. You can use applications like You Need A Budget or a simple spreadsheet. Put $ 75 in your budget, and you can more or less forget the danger posed by medical bills.
Or you can't buy it and worry about it will burst through your emergency funds and go straight to bankruptcy every time you trip over a rug in your apartment.
You not supposed to be a health insurance expert
Freelancers are, if not team one, then there are very few teams. You must be an expert in your field. You must stay abreast of the latest trends and technology. You must know who the right clients are, how to approach them, and how to deliver them. Do you need to know everything there is to know about health insurance too?
If you don't, don't feel bad: that most Americans don't know what their health insurance policy means.
Many go into health insurance. How many doctors in your network? What is the compromise between what you are capable of and what is available? What is the cost difference between getting a federal subsidy and a Medicaid qualification?
Both of our freelancers point out that health insurance can be confusing, and when you're stuck in jargon, it might be easy not to look at the forest for trees. You are so busy trying to remember what coinsurance means that you forget to check whether the package you chose includes your prescription medication.
Go shopping for health insurance with a plan - know what you want to compromise, what you need, and what's important to you - so you can make the most of open registration.
You can find affordable options
Health insurance premiums can be many in several places. But that doesn't mean you can't provide it. You need to know where to look - and what to look for.
Let's return to the stat from the previous one: 80% of buyers can find a health insurance package for less than $ 75 a month. Thanks to federal subsidies, which reduce the cost of health insurance for some people.
If you are young, healthy, and/or you have not gone to the doctor more than just an examination in the past, you may be good with a low premium plan, high deduction. You have to pay more if something comes up, but you might save in the long run by not paying high upfront costs.
If you have a low condition that requires lots of doctor visits, or if you know you plan to get pregnant or have surgery, a high premium plan might not be ideal, but if it means you are pressuring you can be deducted faster. Your insurance starts to cover costs faster, can be better for your budget.
Don't forget to shop this guide on how to register for a health plan.
You stay on top of many deadlines as a freelancer - when the project is due when payments are supposed to come in - so you need to stay on top of your health insurance deadline too. To get coverage for the 2020 federal deadline was December 15, 2019. Some states have extended the period of their registration, so be sure to see what happened in your country with the state of our with an open enrollment guidelines state.