Top medical insurance providers for self-employed Americans

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How does medical insurance for self-employed individuals work?

In keeping with the healthcare information and advisory website Verywell Health, US corporations pay about 83% of their employees’ total medical insurance cost, estimated at $7,470 annually. But because self-employed individuals don’t work for an employer, they should shop around for their very own health plan and canopy the complete cost of the premium.

There are several ways in which self-employed professionals should buy coverage, including:

1. Through the medical insurance marketplace

For a lot of self-employed Americans, the perfect place to start out looking for a policy that matches their needs is thru the federal government’s medical insurance marketplace. Here, they’ll compare plans for coverage and affordability, and get answers to any questions or clarifications they’ve about healthcare insurance. This can also be where they’ll discover in the event that they qualify for Medicaid, tax credits, or lower premiums. Self-employed parents can enroll their kids within the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) through the marketplace as well.

Self-employed individuals can join for a medical insurance plan during an open enrollment period, which generally runs from November 1 through January 15. But even when this era has ended, they might still have the ability to secure coverage in the event that they have experienced a qualifying life event, including getting married, having a baby, and losing their previous insurance. Coverage begins about two to 6 weeks after enrollment. 

Read more: Is taking out critical illness insurance value it?

2. Through private health insurers

Some insurance firms offer customized health plans for self-employed professionals. These often include a variety of advantages, including access to in-network providers and hospitals, annual check-ups, and preventative care.

What does medical insurance for the self-employed cover?

In keeping with Healthcare.gov, all plans within the marketplace offer the identical coverages as standard medical insurance plans under the Reasonably priced Care Act (ACA), including doctors’ fees, inpatient and outpatient hospital care, prescribed drugs, pregnancy and childbirth, and mental health services.

Policies are also “prohibited from excluding treatment based on pre-existing conditions” and must include dental coverage for youngsters. Dental advantages for adults, nonetheless, are optional. Specific services may vary, depending on the state where a self-employed individual relies.

What aspects should self-employed employees consider when on the lookout for medical insurance?

When purchasing for a medical insurance policy, self-employed Americans have a variety of things to think about to make sure that they select the suitable plan that matches their needs. These include:

  • Premiums: Their monthly payments should fit their budgets.
  • Deductibles: Plans with higher deductibles often have lower premiums, but self-employed individuals must first weigh up whether or not they can afford to pay higher out-of-pocket costs should they make a claim before agreeing to the next excess.     
  • Copays: Copays are the quantity the policyholder pays for a given service comparable to doctors’ consultation fees. Lower copays are perfect for self-employed professionals.
  • Customer satisfaction: High customer satisfaction rankings and good customer reviews reflect how medical insurance corporations provide services.
  • Company repute: Self-employed employees must practice due diligence to make sure that they’re purchasing a policy from a good company.
  • Prescription coverage: A plan that covers prescription medications can also be a very good option.
  • In-network physicians: Self-employed individuals should check whether their doctor is in-network for the policy they’re selecting.

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How much does medical insurance for self-employed professionals cost?

For medical insurance plans under the ACA, five fundamental aspects influence premiums prices. These are an individual’s age, address, and smoking status, whether the plan is for a person or family, and the plan category. Medical health insurance costs for older self-employed professionals, as an example, could be thrice the worth of those for younger employees. Smokers, meanwhile, may pay as much as 50% more.

The variety of insurance firms in a state also has a huge effect on premiums as fewer providers means less competition, pushing up prices sometimes to the tune of a whole bunch of dollars. Insurers, nonetheless, are prohibited from charging policyholders more based on their gender, current health status, and medical history.   

Read more: Top 10 medical insurance corporations within the US

That are the highest medical insurance providers within the US?

In keeping with financial website Investopedia, the perfect medical insurance plans for self-employed individuals “are inexpensive and offer decent coverage, with low premiums and deductibles, and a large provider network.” It added that these professionals “also needs to search for a medical insurance company with a very good repute and an easy claims process.”

To search out out which insurers provide the perfect coverage for self-employed employees, Investopedia reviewed 15 of the highest medical insurance providers within the US, comparing each company’s history, repute, product offerings, application process, nationwide availability, provider network, and claims process. These are the highest selections. The list is arranged alphabetically. 

1. Blue Cross Blue Shield

Policy types: 4

States available: All

Providers in network: 1.7 million+

Blue Cross Blue Shield is Investopedia’s “best overall” selection for providers offering healthcare plans for the self-employed due to the company’s strong repute, large provider network, and data-driven strategies to enhance quality and affordability.

The Illinois-headquartered insurer provides coverage to its 110 million members nationwide, with a network that features 96% of hospitals and 95% of doctors and specialists across the US. Americans living outside the country may access health coverage through Blue Cross Blue Shield’s global network. The corporate offers health and wellness discounts comparable to gym memberships and fitness products as well.

“Self-employed employees may like Blue Cross Blue Shield’s data-driven approach, like the corporate’s National Health Index, which maps health status by county,” Investopedia wrote in its review. “Blue Cross Blue Shield also uses nationwide data to deal with major issues just like the rising cost of healthcare.”

Read more: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts to assist vaccinate seniors

2. Cigna

Policy types: 4

States available: Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia

Providers in network: 1.5 million+

The Connecticut-based health insurer has bagged Investopedia’s “best for convenience” award due to its virtual care and prescription home delivery options. Cigna holds partnerships with greater than 67,000 pharmacies, 500 hospitals, and 175,000 mental and behavioral health providers across the US.

“Self-employed employees may love the convenience of Cigna’s Express Scripts Pharmacy, which offers home delivery of a 90-day supply of prescriptions together with 24/7 access to licensed pharmacists,” in line with the financial website. “Cigna recently added Talkspace, a well-liked digital therapy service, to its behavioral health network. This provider has worked hard in these areas to make care as convenient as possible, thus winning this category.”

Read more: Cigna beats profit expectations

3. Kaiser Permanente

Policy Types: 3

States available: California, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, Oregon, Virginia, Washington, Washington D.C.

Providers in network: 23,000+ doctors

Kaiser Permanente’s emphasis on preventative care has made it the highest selection for the category. The corporate boasts a network, which incorporates 39 hospitals, 734 medical offices, 23,656 physicians, and 65,005 nurses.

“The corporate’s record-keeping and system of reminders make it easier to catch the early stages of a disease,” Investopedia wrote. “Consequently, the corporate leads the nation in preventative cancer screenings and keeping a cap on hypertension, which is why it wins this category.”

Read more: Kaiser Permanente names latest chairman and CEO

4. Molina Healthcare

Policy types: Varies by state

States available: Arizona, California, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Ohio, Nevada, Latest Mexico, Latest York, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin

Providers in network: Undisclosed

Focused on serving self-employed individuals receiving government assistance, Molina Healthcare has snagged the title of “best for underserved groups.” The corporate offers Medicaid and Medicare to its 4.6 million members across 19 states. Its plans are arrange as an HMO, meaning policyholders have a copay due for a lot of its services.

“Molina Healthcare focuses on inexpensive healthcare for lower-income families,” Investopedia wrote. “When you’re self-employed and struggling to make ends meet, it’s possible you’ll qualify for Medicaid, which offers comprehensive advantages through Molina.”

5. Oscar

Policy types: Varies by location

States available: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Latest Jersey, Latest York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia

Providers in network: Undisclosed

Insurtech unicorn Oscar is Investopedia’s top selection in the shopper satisfaction category due to its free virtual primary care and virtual urgent care – which supplies 24/7 access to a provider – user-friendly mobile app, and a dedicated team of guides and nurses to reply questions policyholders could have and help them lower your expenses.

“When you’re uninterested in mediocre customer support, Oscar could also be value a glance,” the financial website noted in its review. “As a member, it’s possible you’ll use virtual care or the Care Team through the corporate’s mobile app together with easy accessibility to your records, lab results, deductibles, and more. The corporate’s white-glove service could also be particularly appealing to self-employed folks navigating medical insurance on their very own for the primary time.

Read more: Oscar Health raises over a billion dollars in initial public offering

6. UnitedHealthcare

Policy types: 4

States available: all

Providers in network: 1.3 million

Its large network of providers in every state has made the Minnesota-headquartered insurer the highest pick for the “best network” award. UnitedHealthcare has a network of 1.3 million physicians and healthcare professionals, and greater than 6,500 hospitals. It offers a variety of insurance products, including health, Medicare, Medicaid, short-term, vision, dental, and supplemental coverage.

Read more: UnitedHealth reports whopping $1.7 billion earnings leap

“UnitedHealthcare, a part of the country’s biggest medical insurance company, offers probably the most robust network on our list,” Investopedia wrote. “With coverage in every state, UnitedHealthcare may make it easier to search out a medical insurance plan along with your preferred providers in order that self-employed individuals do not have to stint on medical care.”

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