Traditionally, full-time workers are accustomed to getting their health insurance through their employer. For people who are self-employed, work as 1099 contractors, or work part-time, health insurance options are a bit more complicated, but they are certainly not impossible, especially if you are willing to think outside the box.
Health Insurance Option #1: Group Health Plan
If you are working part-time, you may be able to get on your employer’s group health plan. Many companies including Starbucks, Costco, and Lowe’s offer some form of benefits to their part-timers. It is possible that your employer will offer a smaller contribution than they would for full-time employees, but this is definitely a health insurance option worth looking into. You’ll never know if you don’t take the time to ask.
Health Insurance Option #2: Spouse/Domestic Partnership Plan
Some employers offer health insurance options to spouses of employees and in some cases, this extends to domestic partnerships (typically after one year of cohabitation). Usually, the policy rates are higher because employers tend to pay a smaller portion of premiums for spouses than they do for employees, but this option is certainly worth looking into.
Health Insurance Option #3: Individual Insurance Plan
Regardless of whether you are a freelancer or a part-timer, you should definitely look into individual health insurance options offered privately through insurers, or publicly on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Exchanges. Any tax-paying American citizen is eligible to purchase insurance through the Exchanges and may even qualify for a premium tax credit.
If purchasing a plan in this manner, check with your employer to see if they offer a health reimbursement arrangement (HRA) to help cover your premium costs. Many small businesses do not offer health insurance because they cannot afford to do so, but HRAs allow them to define how much they want to contribute to the benefit and thereby control their budget.
Again, working part-time may mean you are eligible for a smaller reimbursement amount, but every little bit helps.
Health insurance options are still available for workers who are part-time, on a 1099 contract, or self-employed. Finding solutions may require some creative thinking, but the options are out there for everyone. And don’t be afraid to ask your Human Resources representative about alternative options, like HRAs.
What kind health insurance options are you looking for as a freelance or part-time worker? Let us know in the comments below!