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  • Writer's pictureAhsan Malyk

Best Health Insurance For Self-Employed?

Affordability and good coverage are even more critical if you are self-employed and pay 100% of your medical expenses. You can find the cheapest plans on the federal health insurance market or state health exchanges if you're an independent contractor, consultant, or gig worker.

But with so many providers and plans to choose from, choosing the right one can be difficult. We assessed costs (including premiums, copayments, and deductibles), insurance scheme benefits, and third-party reviews.

Best Health Insurance Companies For The Self-Employed 2023

  1. Kaiser Permanente

Reason for choosing:

Kaiser Permanente earned the best overall position due to its excellent reviews, industry strength, unique provider network, and commitment to retirement.

What we like:

  • Online offers and applications

  • High customer service rating

  • Offers both insurance and medical care

  • Apartment

  • Good financial standing.

What we didn't like:

  • Must use Kaiser facilities

  • Limited to eight states and the District of Columbia.

If you are responsible for your own income, it is vital to avoid additional medical costs. Overall winner Kaiser Permanente offers excellent preventative care to keep you healthy. With the Kaiser Plan, you can enjoy free preventative care, including regular physical exams.

Kaiser Permanente, a non-profit organization, sells a range of health insurance plans suitable for the self-employed. Depending on your situation, you can choose from Medigap, Medicaid, Medicare Advantage, Prescription Drug Plans, and Individual Plans. We also offer dental and vision options.

Their affordable plans come in a variety of price points, with the option to add a health savings account to ensure you receive top-notch medical care at Kaiser facilities.

Kaiser Permanente differs from other traditional health insurance companies in that it is a managed care organization. They operate a network of 39 Kaiser Foundation hospitals and 727 clinics and have full control over the quality and pricing of care.

For these reasons, Kaiser's plans consistently rank high in terms of customer satisfaction and affordability. JD Power and Associates ranks Kaiser top in customer satisfaction.

Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum policies can be offered and purchased via Kaiser's marketplace or online portal. Bronze and Silver plans have the option to add HSA. You can use these tax-exempt contributions to pay for eligible medical expenses such as health care, eye care, dental care, and medication.

Affordable Care Act (ACA) plans do not exclude pre-existing conditions or limit renewable energy. However, services such as elective or cosmetic procedures, chiropractic care, and nursing care are considered ineligible and are not covered.

As with other ACA policies, if you enroll in open or special enrollment from the 1st to the 15th, you will be covered from the 1st of the following month. If purchased on or after the 16th, the insurance will be applied from the 1st of the month after the next month, so a waiting period of about 6 weeks is required.

To participate in Kaiser, you must be a resident of California, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, Oregon, Virginia, Washington, or the District of Columbia.

  1. UnitedHealthcare

Why We Chose It:

UnitedHealthcare is our top choice for the best network as their coverage spans all 50 states, and they offer many policies to suit most people.

What We Like

  • Largest provider network in the country

  • Solid reputation

  • Online quotes

  • Smartphone app and telehealth

What We Didn't Like

  • May not cover some locations

  • May be more expensive than competitors

As one of the largest U.S. health insurance companies, UnitedHealthcare (UHC) was an obvious choice for our best network choice. The UHC network includes more than 1.3 million doctors and 6,500 hospitals and other facilities across the country, so you shouldn't have difficulty finding local health services.

UHC offers individual health insurance, short-term health insurance, dental and vision plans, Medicaid, Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans, and small-business health insurance.

With an A rating from AM Best, you won't need to worry about their ability to pay any claims as they are financially stable.3

You can get a quote and buy a plan using the online portal or the ACA Marketplace. There are five levels of coverage, from basic coverage to platinum coverage. Prices are not listed on the company's website, and prices are discounted when you add dental or eye insurance.

UHC's policies cost more than some of its competitors, but offer benefits that we believe justify the additional cost. These include their own Sweat Equity compensation program for physical fitness. You can get up to $400 a year just for training.

3. Pivot

Why We Chose It:

Pivot took first place as our best short-term health insurance pick for self-employed as there's the flexibility to build the ideal policy for you and opportunities to save money with their discount programs.

What We Like

  • Not tied to specific providers

  • 24/7 telemedicine

  • Medication and vision care discounts

What We Didn't Like

  • Must pre-certify emergencies

  • Not available across the country

With almost immediate coverage, the ability to visit any convenient doctor, flexible policy lengths, plus low prices, Pivot is our preferred short-term health insurance choice if you're self-employed.

Since 2018, Pivot has offered short-term insurance plans underwritten by the Companion Life Insurance Company who has an AM Best financial stability rating of A+ (Superior).4 Other offerings include supplemental Insurance, pre-Medicare, Medicare supplement plans, limited Benefit insurance, dental, and vision policies.

You can quote and purchase a policy online if you live in Washington D.C. or one of the 24 states that Pivot operates in. The quote system allows you to select the features you want to include or exclude from their Basic, Core, Quantum, or Epic policies. The policy can be extended for up to 3 years.

Depending on your options, rewards start at $99. Spending is limited by a maximum out-of-pocket expense ranging from $3,000 to $10,000. The annual performance limit is limited to a maximum of $1 million. Also, if you receive care, you must cover a 20% or 30% deductible. Unlike the Marketplace Affordable Care Act policy, plans can exclude existing conditions. The wait time is also different from the marketplace.

It takes 5 days for health insurance to start and 30 days for cancer treatment.

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