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Health insurance options for the self-employed

When you are self-employed you get to enjoy the freedom that comes with being your own boss. You get to make all the big decisions, like choosing a healthcare plan.

As a self-employed person (with no employees), you are considered an individual in the eyes of the government. This means you are still required to have health insurance, or be subject to penalties come tax season. The good news is that whether you are a freelancer or just starting your own business, it’s easier than ever to find a plan that will work for you.

Find a plan that meets your needs

You can start your search on the federal government’s Health Insurance Marketplace. You can only purchase insurance during the open enrollment period, which is usually in the last quarter of the calendar year. If you have missed open enrollment, you may to wait until the next time open enrollment opens to apply.

However, if you have what’s called a qualifying life event, you might be eligible for a special enrollment period. These events, like a change in marital status or birth of a child, allow you to enroll outside of the normal open enrollment period. For more details, see our page about life-changing events.

You can also purchase medical insurance through eHealth.com (link opens in new window).

In addition to providing access to hundreds of healthcare plans, eHealth offers short-term insurance. These plans are a way to get health insurance outside of the open enrollment period, even if you don’t have a qualifying life event.

And if you’re over age 65, you may want to consider one of the many Medicare plans available. For examples, visit Humana’s Medicare Advantage Plans page.

You can also keep your smile bright and your eyes healthy with dental and vision coverage. Just like other types of insurance, you can choose from a variety of plans to get the coverage you need. To learn more, check into Humana’s dental plans and vision insurance.

Getting financial assistance

It’s possible you may qualify for financial assistance to help pay for healthcare. Eligibility is based on household income and family size.

To find out if you qualify, use the savings page on Healthcare.gov (link opens in new window). If you don’t qualify now, be sure to check the qualifying guidelines every year. They can change and you may become eligible if the rules change.

Another way to cover healthcare costs is to set up a health savings account or HSA.

Consider using an insurance agent

If you would like some help to find out if you qualify for financial assistance, or to figure out which healthcare plan is right for your situation, you might consider working with an insurance agent or broker.

Agents are trusted resources who have a deep understanding of insurance. They can work with you to help you decide which plans fit your budget and meet your needs. They can also help you find out if you are eligible for financial assistance. Plus there is usually no fee to use their services.

Making your decision

Choosing health insurance is a big business decision. It’s an important personal decision as well. Today there are many great options available to self-employed individuals. Understanding those options will help you make the decision that makes the most sense and remove a lot of the stress that comes with such a major decision.

And if you decide to grow your business and add staff, we’ve got you covered. Humana offers small business insurance for groups with 1–50 people.

Common healthcare terms defined

From abrasion to X-ray, the Humana glossary explains common insurance and medical terms.

Browse our healthcare glossary

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