Are you researching the best short-term health insurance for entrepreneurs? If you’re an entrepreneur or you’re considering quitting your 9-to-5 to focus on your venture full-time, you’re probably pretty used to taking risks. Being an entrepreneur is high-risk, but it’s also high-reward. Still, that doesn’t mean you should take too many risks, especially when it comes to having health insurance.
Health insurance is a benefit traditionally provided by employers, but when you’re an entrepreneur, you’re the employer – and the boss and employee too! However, that doesn’t mean you have to go without having health insurance. You just need to find those benefits yourself!
Above all else, being an entrepreneur is about freedom, and when you’re an entrepreneur, you have the freedom to choose the right health insurance for you. Luckily, there are plenty of options for affordable health insurance for entrepreneurs. This guide will help you understand your options so you can find the right health insurance for you.
What is an Entrepreneur?
An entrepreneur is someone who starts and operates a new business venture, often taking on the majority of the financial risk in doing so. Entrepreneurs take an idea and turn it into a reality, usually by investing their own money instead of having an outside investor. They may strike out on their own, or with a business partner.
Entrepreneurs are different from small-business owners, the key difference being scope. A small-business owner is usually concerned with day-to-day ops and serving local customers. While an entrepreneur does technically own a small business, they are a big-picture thinker who dreams of scaling that small business into something bigger.
How Many People in the U.S. are Entrepreneurs?
Entrepreneurship rates have been steadily increasing over the last several years. Nearly 14% of U.S. adults are pursuing early-stage entrepreneurial activity, and there are an estimated 27 million Americans who are starting or running new businesses.
As for the most popular business sectors, information technology and finance comprise more than 18% of opportunities pursued by entrepreneurs in the U.S.
What is the Best Health Insurance for Entrepreneurs?
If you’re an entrepreneur, you’re used to tackling challenges. While finding affordable health insurance coverage may not be as exciting as the challenges you’re used to facing, it’s still worth your time and attention.
Even if you are healthy, rarely get sick, and don’t have any pre-existing conditions, it’s important you protect yourself and everything you’ve worked for with health insurance. It can provide valuable financial protection in the event of a medical emergency.
There are several options for affordable health insurance for entrepreneurs out there – it’s just a matter of figuring out which option meets your health care needs. Here are a few to get you started:
1. Short-Term Health Insurance
Don’t have any pre-existing conditions and don’t qualify for tax subsidies through the Affordable Care Act (ACA)? Short-term health insurance may be an affordable coverage option for you.
Short-term medical insurance has lower monthly premiums compared to ACA-compliant major medical options. That’s because it doesn’t provide coverage for all 10 essential health benefits or pre-existing conditions. However, it does provide coverage for:
- Doctor visits
- Urgent care
- Child immunizations
- Ground ambulance trips
- Emergency room care
- Diagnostic testing and interpretation of results, depending on the state in which you purchase your plan
- Inpatient/outpatient hospital care
- Emergency surgery
- Outpatient physical therapy
- Home health care
- Prescription medications, depending on the state in which you purchase your plan*
However, you may not want all the coverage that comes with an ACA-compliant plan. In that case, you could save money on health insurance with a short-term medical plan. Plus, you can cover your entire family. Spouses and dependents can be covered under a short-term insurance plan as long as they meet the medical requirements of the plan.
You can get short-term health insurance plans on a rolling basis (unlike the Health Insurance Marketplace, which operates on an open enrollment schedule) and renew your coverage for up to two more years. That’s why it’s a viable option for entrepreneurs who need health insurance outside of the annual open enrollment period or aren’t eligible for a special enrollment period due to a qualifying life event.
2. Coverage Through the Health Insurance Marketplace
ACA-compliant plans must include coverage for the 10 essential health benefits, as well as coverage for pre-existing conditions. If you need comprehensive major medical insurance, then shopping through the Health Insurance Marketplace might be right for you.
All ACA-compliant health insurance plans include coverage for:
- Ambulatory patient services
- Emergency services
- Hospitalization (like surgery and overnight stays)
- Pregnancy, maternity, and newborn care (both before and after birth)
- Mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment
- Prescription drugs
- Rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices
- Laboratory services
- Preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management
- Pediatric services, including oral and vision care (adult dental and vision coverage are not essential health benefits)
Some Marketplace plans offer additional benefits, including dental and vision coverage.
As a self-employed entrepreneur, you may be able to lower your health insurance costs by qualifying for an ACA tax subsidy. Eligibility is based on income, and not everyone qualifies.
What is subsidized coverage?
Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) are examples of subsidized coverage. Some Marketplace insurance plans with premium tax credits are also referred to as subsidized coverage.
How do you know if you qualify for subsidized coverage?
Your household income must be between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level to qualify for a premium tax credit. If you live in a state that has expanded Medicaid coverage, your household income must be below 138% of the federal poverty level to qualify for the credit.
3. Health Insurance from a Membership Organization
Membership organizations offer tons of great benefits, one of them being health insurance coverage. The National Association for the Self-Employed offers life and health insurance options for members. However, you would have to pay a membership fee in addition to the cost of insurance.
How Much Does Health Insurance Cost for Entrepreneurs?
More than half of insured Americans have group health insurance. Individual health plans – like short-term health insurance – help protect the health of millions of self-employed entrepreneurs and their families. The United States Census Bureau estimates that 16% of Americans have individual health insurance plans.
How much does an individual health insurance plan cost? It depends.
There are a few factors that can give you a better idea of how much you’ll pay for individual health insurance. For instance, do you need coverage only for yourself, or do you need coverage for your partner, child, or other dependent too? Insurance companies also take personal information like your age, zip code, and whether you use tobacco into account when determining your health insurance costs.
The type of plan you select will also affect your health insurance costs. A short-term medical plan can be an affordable option if you don’t need coverage for pre-existing conditions, mental health services, or pregnancy care, and don’t qualify for a tax subsidy through the ACA.
A comprehensive major medical plan may be an affordable option too if you do have a pre-existing condition and do qualify for a tax subsidy. The average U.S. citizen with a Marketplace plan paid $106 per month after premium tax credits in 2016. If you don’t qualify for a premium tax credit, your monthly premium may be much higher.
If you’re searching for affordable health insurance for entrepreneurs, be sure to compare your plan options and how you plan to use your coverage. That way, you can more easily identify the plan that meets your needs and your budget. At Vera Health, we can help you find a health insurance plan at the right price. Adjust the slider on our homepage to find the right plan for your budget and insurance needs.
When Can Entrepreneurs Enroll for Health Insurance?
If you’ve recently become a full-time entrepreneur, you have some flexibility when it comes to enrolling for health insurance. ACA-compliant plans are available for the annual enrollment period. However, if you are experiencing a qualifying life event (like quitting your job to be a full-time entrepreneur), you can apply for a Marketplace plan through a special enrollment period.
Short-term health insurance is available at any time since it doesn’t have an enrollment period, and if you’re approved for coverage, your benefits could kick in as soon as the next day.* If you need affordable coverage ASAP, short-term health insurance might be a good option for you.
Finding health insurance for entrepreneurs doesn’t have to be daunting if you’re armed with the right resources. To learn more about your coverage options and whether a short-term health plan is a smart option for you, call Vera Health at 888-499-1187 or visit us online. We can help you find the right health care plan for you, even if you decide you need more coverage than short-term health insurance can offer.
*Covered services may be subject to waiting periods, visit limitations, deductible, coinsurance, or copays, and/or benefit maximums depending on the plan you purchase.
This coverage is not required to comply with federal market requirements for health insurance, principally those contained in the Affordable Care Act. Be sure to check your policy carefully to make sure you are aware of any exclusions or limitations regarding coverage of preexisting conditions or health benefits (such as hospitalization, emergency service, maternity care, preventive care, prescription drugs, and mental health and substance use disorder services). If this coverage expires or you lose eligibility for this coverage, you might have to wait until and open enrollment period to get other health insurance coverage.