Remote work is on the rise today. Today, this number is even higher and it becomes a common trend in the workplace. In the future, remote employees are expected to account for over 50% of the U.S. workforce . Remote work is great. It means having more freedom, working from anywhere, and being in control of your own time. However, it does come with some challenges. The biggest obstacle is usually health insurance.
For those employed with a traditional in-person job, the employer usually offers small business health insurance. As a remote worker or contractor, you’re often on the hook for your own health insurance. Thankfully, new health insurance regulations make it easier to find a solution that’s right for you, but that doesn’t mean it’s a simple process. Don’t let the fear of finding your own health insurance keep you from pursuing your remote career goals. Here are some of the best health insurance options for remote workers.
Outside of employer health insurance, the best option is the healthcare marketplace. As a self-employed contractor or an individual whose company doesn’t offer health insurance, this is a great place to explore your local options. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, you now have access to low-cost insurance based on your income.
There are different plans offered through both the federal and state governments. Purchasing a plan through the marketplace is straightforward, but you can use a navigation tool to help you browse health insurance companies | HealthMarkets. From there, you’ll see if there’s a plan that’s a good fit for your needs.
If you make the mistake of not purchasing a plan during the open enrollment period, you’ll likely be stuck without insurance for a while. You don’t want to be get caught without coverage if you find yourself in an accident or facing a sudden illness. That’s why short-term health coverage is so valuable.
If you’ve recently left a previous employer where you had access to a health plan, you’re open to COBRA coverage for workplace benefits. This allows you to keep your employer coverage for up to 36 months. However, this might be your priciest option. You can also look search for a short-term health insurance plan which offers lower coverage, but it’s less expensive. Either way, you’ll be safe against any unexpected health problems.
Health Cost Sharing
Finally, a new trend in remote and contract work is health cost sharing. These are programs through organizations, unions, or even just local groups. Think of it like a co-op. Everyone pools money together to help pay for member health expenses. This isn’t a formal insurance, but it can give you the coverage you need without costing too much money.
Recently, the Freelancers Union began offering full health insurance benefits for those who are self-employed as freelancers or remote workers. While it’s not yet available in every state, it’s a great option for comprehensive coverage built with your unique needs in mind. Review their coverage areas to see if there’s something available in your state.
Health Savings Account
Finally, a health savings account (HSA) is a way to protect yourself from unexpected financial expenses. An HSA is a tax-advantaged medical savings account. It is only available for individuals have a high-deductible on their insurance policy. With a high-deductible plan, you pay less every month, but you receive less coverage.
With a HSA, you have money to fall back on for everyday things like office visits, testing, and more. You can even use the money to cover prescription drugs. Ultimately, it’s a good alternative to employer insurance. While not right for everyone, an HSA will keep you covered when it matters most.
Protect Your Health
Your health is the most important thing you have. As a remote worker, you have the freedom to work as you please. Don’t let the fear of finding your own health insurance plan hold you back from your success. These plans above are a great alternative to traditional insurance.
From the Freelancers Union to the Healthcare Marketplace, you have options. While it might not be as easy as traditional employer insurance, it’s worth the extra effort to find the plan that’s right for you.