I'm self-employed: can I afford health insurance?
Millions of Americans get their health insurance through their employers, but not everyone does. If you’re one of the roughly 9.9 million or 6% of Americans who is currently self-employed, you may have found yourself wondering if you can afford health insurance.
Going into business for yourself is a risky proposition by definition—which, for many self-employed people, is part of the appeal. We’re a nation of bold entrepreneurs. However, adding health insurance to one’s regular expenses might seem like a risk you may not want to add. After all, you have to contend with unpredictable monthly incomes, the costs of running your business, and those pesky unexpected expenses that always seem to crop up at the worst moment.
That said, the benefits of having the right plan for your situation can save you from potentially catastrophic financial challenges if you incur a major illness or injury. Having the right health insurance can mean the difference between enduring through tough times and closing up shop. Here are some things to consider.
First, are you self-employed?
If you have a business that brings in money, but you don’t have any employees, the Federal Government considers you self-employed.
Shop the Marketplace
Visit the Affordable Care Act Marketplace to shop for plans. Depending upon where you live, you’ll see different health insurance providers offering a variety of plans.
Depending upon your economic situation, you may qualify for help.
If you meet certain economic requirements, you might be eligible for health insurance tax credits. This means you may be able to get reimbursed for the money you spend on monthly premiums for plans purchased through the Affordable Care Act’s Marketplace when tax time rolls around.
These credits are designed to make sure more Americans can afford the coverage they need—and they can be substantial. In fact, if you end up owing no taxes when all is said and done, you can qualify for the full amount of your premiums.
How do you know if you qualify for these tax credits (and how much)? To get started, you’ll need to visit the Marketplace and answer a few simple questions.
Other governmental programs may provide low-or no-cost alternatives.
If your income is modest enough, you and/or your family members may qualify for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). These programs are designed to provide a health care safety net for low-income Americans—and if you’re just getting started with your business, you might still be putting in more money than you’re generating. Startups typically take two to three years to turn a profit, after all.
Qualifications for these programs vary by state, so make sure to do your homework.
You may be able to deduct your premiums at tax time.
At tax time, you can deduct up to the full amount of the health insurance premiums you pay—and not just for yourself. You can deduct up to the full amount of the premiums you pay for your spouse and any claimed dependents.
Here’s one last thing to think about before you get started: Living life covered doesn’t just impact your bottom line, it also has a significant effect on your peace of mind. You can’t put a price on that. You need every inch of headspace to achieve your business goals and take on the competition. Don’t let worry over what will happen to you or your family in the event of a serious illness or injury distract you.
If you want to discuss your options, our friendly team is here to help. Call our coverage specialists toll-free at (888) 535-4831 or request a quote today.