Finding health insurance plans as a self-employed person can be daunting. There are seemingly endless options out there, how do you choose the best one for you?
As a self-employed worker, you have the freedom to do whatever you want. The line of work you enjoy, the hours that you work, the rates you charge. It’s great, right? But you also have to cover all of your own expenses, including health insurance. In this article, you’ll learn about the best health insurance options for the self-employed to make sure you’re covered no matter what level of insurance you’re looking to get.
The best health insurance for self-employed people will be affordable and have plenty of plan options. The best options on the market include Blue Cross Blue Shield, UnitedHealthcare, Cigna, Humana, and Kaiser Permanente. From at least one of these companies, you’ll be able to find the perfect plan for you and your family.
As a self-employed person myself who left corporate America for the freedom of doing my own thing, I know all too well how difficult it can be to find a good health insurance plan. Everything you read in this article has been explored with hands-on experience from someone just like you. So buckle up and get ready to learn all about the best health insurance options for the self-employed.
What are the Best Health Insurance Options for the Self Employed?
Blue Cross Blue Shield
A conglomerate of 36 different US-based health insurance companies and by far the biggest insurance issuer in the country, Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) is a staple of the industry. Founded in 1929, BCBS has grown over the better part of a century into the biggest name in health insurance, including of course for the self-employed. So it should come as no surprise to see it on this list, or any list of best insurance options out there.
One of the biggest benefits of BCBS for self-employed people is the vast coverage that they offer. As the biggest provider in the country, BCBS offers coverage in all 50 states and even international, so no matter where you’re based as a self-employed worker, they’ve got you covered. If you want to pick up and move anywhere in the country or even many international locales you can do so without fear of losing your health insurance coverage.
When it comes to health insurance plans, BCBS offers a variety of available options that are perfect for self-employed individuals. Some of the healthcare coverage you can get through BCBS include:
- Health Insurance — The focus of this article, BCBS has a multitude of health insurance options for self-employed people. You can find a barebones high-deductible health plan (HDHP) for yourself or top-quality coverage for the entire family with BCBS. The specific plans you have access to will differ based on where you’re located but you won’t have an issue finding the perfect plan with BCBS.
- Dental and Vision — BCBS offers comprehensive dental and vision plans as well to supplement your main health insurance. Their Blue View Vision plan will help cover your annual eye exams and contacts and their dental insurance includes health advice through the “Ask a Hygienist” program.
- Medicare — For any self-employed people who qualify for Medicare coverage, BCBS has that covered as well in many regions, offering a slew of Medicare Advantage plans including prescription drug coverage.
As the largest member of the UnitedHealth Group family (accounting for 80% of the total revenue) UnitedHealthcare (UHC) is one of the biggest and most reputable insurance companies in the country. If you’re in the market for self-employed insurance and want to make sure you get top-notch coverage, then UnitedHealthcare should be on your shortlist of possibilities.
If you’re self-employed, you’ll be happy to find out about the bevy of different insurance products that UHC has available so that you can get the best coverage for you and your family. Some of the different options you can get from UHC include:
- Individual health insurance
- Short-term health insurance
- Dental and vision
- Small-business health insurance
With UHC, not only do you get to choose from all of the above different insurance options, but you also get access to many wellness programs and additional benefits. UHC wants to incentivize their customers to stay healthy by offering benefits such as:
- UHC Baby Blocks — a reward program for members that go to the doctor with their baby
- myEasyBook — allows UHC users to book appointments 24/7 without having to call and wait on the line
- Comprehensive mobile app — Quickly search for in-network care, manage prescriptions, video chat with doctors, view claims, get estimated costs, and more
Keep in mind, however, that while you get access to all of these great options and extra benefits, UHC premiums tend to run a bit higher than the competition. So if you’re looking for the most affordable health insurance as a self-employed worker, UHC may not be the best option out there.
As the relatively newest company on this list (still almost 40 years old!), Cigna is a reputable insurance company that was formed by a merger of two powerful insurance companies in 1982. As both an American and worldwide insurance provider, Cigna is the biggest name on this list in terms of pure revenue. So if you decide to get your self-employed health insurance from here, you’ll be in good hands.
Cigna is perfect for self-employed people for two big reasons: they have a lot of different options and they’re known for their affordable pricing compared to some of the other big names in insurance. Insurance policies from Cigna include options for all three of the main health insurance categories:
- Individual health insurance
- Dental and vision
So no matter what type of plan you’re looking for, Cigna will have it. With the individual health insurance plans, self-employed workers can find anything from an inexpensive plan with a high deductible up to an expensive monthly plan that offers comprehensive coverage for the whole family.
The only kicker to this is the Cigna is only offered in 15 states even though it’s also offered internationally. So if you don’t live or operate your business in one of the below states, you’ll have to look elsewhere:
- New Jersey
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
One of the biggest insurance companies in the country, Humana has been around since 1961 providing health insurance coverage (mainly Medicare options) to more than 20 million members nationwide. Headquartered in Louisville Kentucky, Humana employs nearly 50,000 people and offers coverage in 22 states across the country.
As alluded to above, Humana specializes in offering Medicare options to their members, so it’s aimed at self-employed workers that qualify for Medicare. So what does Humana have to do with this you might be thinking? Well, Medicare is separated into four parts. One of which — Part C — is known as a Medicare Advantage plan, which is offered by private insurance companies. Enter Humana.
Through Humana, self-employed workers can have access to a wide range of Medicare Advantage plans including:
- Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) — HMO plans offer customers access to an array of doctors and medical facilities within their region. Within the network, members will pay significantly less due to the agreed-upon rates between the care center and Humana. You must stay within the confines of the network to avoid paying full price.
- Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) — More expensive than HMOs, PPO plans let you see doctors outside of the network including specialists, and still receive a discounted rate. Even with PPO plans, it’ll still be cheaper to stay totally within Humana’s network. But these are great for self-employed workers that have their own doctors they prefer to see.
- Medicare Part D — Standalone Medicare Part D plans help cover prescription drug prices not covered as part of normal Medicare plans.
Founded over 75 years ago, Kaiser Permanente is an insurance company with a long-standing reputation of providing its customers with quality healthcare coverage. As of 2019 statistics, this California-based insurance company has over 300,000 employees (including 23,000+ physicians and over 60,000 nurses) operating in 39 medical centers and 706 other medical facilities.
Kaiser Permanente is best known for its affordable rates, a wide selection of plan options, and extensive work in preventative care. With Kaiser Permanente, self-employed plan members have access to individual and family plans, Medicare Advantage plans, and Medicaid if they qualify.
Due to the effort that Kaiser Permanente puts into preventative care and reminding their customers of upcoming needs or appointments, their clients can find early signs of any issues going on health-wise. In fact, Kaiser Permanente is ranked #1 in the whole country for cancer screening and early signs of high blood pressure.
The biggest drawback to Kaiser Permanente and its viability for self-employed workers is its lack of coverage nationwide. This company only offers coverage in the following states or areas:
- Washington, D.C.
So if you’re looking for insurance but you don’t live in one of the above locales, then Kaiser Permanente is not for you. But if you do fall under their umbrella of coverage, be sure to check them out for self-employed insurance!