Call for a Quote:


Health Insurance for Freelancers and the Self-Employed

Go back up

Health Insurance for Freelancers and the Self-Employed

Colleen McGuire

Updated: October 9, 2018    Published: September 22, 2014

It is estimated that by the year 2020, 40 percent of America’s work force will be comprised of freelancers, so it is important for all self-employed individuals to find comprehensive information about healthcare in the workforce of today’s world. Here are the new plans and regulations under the ACA.

Self-employed requirements:

  • Individuals who operate an income generating business, and have no employees, are considered self-employed. Those who hire independent contractors are not considered employers and do not have to provide health insurance benefits to their independent contractors.
  • Individuals who hire employees and report the employee’s income on W-2s each year, are considered employers. These people, and their employees, are eligible for healthcare coverage through the SHOP market place.

Insurance options

  • Self-employed individuals may seek insurance coverage through the federal or state health insurance exchange if they believe they are eligible for a tax subsidy to help pay for their insurance, or the self-employed can apply for a plan through the private marketplace.
  • CO-OPS, also known as Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans or non-profit health insurance cooperatives, have been authorized under the ACA law in Section 1322. These are alternatives to small business and individual exchanges operated by federal and state governments. These CO-OPS are organized as non-profits are operated and controlled by their members. The United States currently has 24 authorized CO-OPS.
  • Catastrophic insurance is for individuals who are below 30 and/or have received the hardship exemption. These people may purchase a catastrophic plan in order to meet the shared responsibility requirements. Catastrophic plans may have lower rates than many comprehensive plans; however, the out of pocket expenses are generally higher.

One of the most prominent choices for self-employed individuals is purchasing health care coverage from private exchanges. is one of several comprehensive websites that enables the public to locate insurance to match their needs.

Advance premium tax credit

Self-employed individuals may be able to receive subsidies and/or premium tax credits. This is based upon family modified adjusted gross income and individual income. The greater the income, the smaller the credit. Eligible filers may choose to have all, or a sum of the credit, paid directly to the insurance provider. This will reduce monthly out of pocket premium costs. The following guidelines apply in order to qualify:

  • Individuals who have no access to affordable healthcare coverage through a government or employer plan are eligible.
  • They must purchase coverage through the federal marketplace.
  • The household income must fall between 100% and 400% of the FPL or Federal Poverty Line.
  • Unless individuals meet the criteria in Notice 2014-23 for domestic abuse victims, they should not file married filing separately.
  • Individuals may not be claimed as a dependent by any other person.

Short Term Alternatives

There are short term insurance alternatives which last between 30 and 364 days (with options for extended coverage pending approval). These plans were designed to offer coverage to uninsured individuals who have lost coverage from an employer, are newly divorced, are age 26 and no longer eligible for coverage on their parent’s plan, and more situations. Most of the benefits generally concentrate on catastrophic coverage, which means comprehensive and preventive care are typically not covered. Temporary, short term insurance instead proves protection from major financial setbacks.

Get a Free Health Insurance Quote

  • Get an instant quote for health insurance plans
  • Compare prices from over 300 carriers
  • Find a plan that fits your budget
Please enter a valid US Zip Code

Leave your comments

Your email address will not be published. Your answer will be public once it's approved by our team. By submiting a comment, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

We're on a mission to help our users become better healthcare consumers

Recent Health Insurance Articles

Churches Wipe Out Millions In Medical Debt For Others

Updated: June 6, 2019

The leaders of Pathway Church on the outskirts of Wichita, Kan., had no clue that …

What Type of Health Insurance Would Game of Thrones Characters Have?

Updated: June 28, 2019

All but the mightiest among us need proper health insurance, since you never know when …

Is Yoga Covered by Your Health Insurance?

Updated: March 21, 2019

There are a lot of things that come to mind when you think of yoga …