An Independent Worker’s Quick Guide to Health Insurance

health insurance

A lot of gig workers are intimidated by the search for health insurance. While searching for health insurance as a gig worker can be stressful, there are benefits. Finding the health insurance that’s right for you can be freeing and empowering, if you take an organized approach. Since you’re not limited to the type of insurance offered by your employer, you can find the right insurance for you. Here’s the approach we recommend that you take with your search for the right insurance policy. 

Determine What Coverage You Need 

Experts interviewed by NPR recommend that you consider how much health insurance you actually use throughout the year when trying to decide how much coverage you need. You should also consider changes you’re anticipating in the near future. Ask yourself questions such as:

  • Are you hoping to grow your family, get married or have a baby soon?
  • How many times per year do you usually see the doctor, and for what kind of services?
  • Are you in a position to cover extra medical bills if a surprise diagnosis comes up in the next year? 

A lot of people who shop for health insurance get caught up in the monthly premiums and pay less attention to other costs like the deductible. Consider the full cost of the insurance plans, including the cost of following your usual healthcare habits.  

Shop Around 

Shop around for plans when the time comes. It’s a good idea to do this every year, even if you have a plan that you’ve been satisfied with so far. Things may have changed since the last time that you shopped for health insurance, and keeping up with the current offerings can help you find a plan that’s right for you. 

Stay On Top of Enrollment Deadlines

Make sure you’re always covered. Pay attention to bills and notices that come in the mail, and mark your calendar with the annual enrollment deadline. Start shopping for new plans well in advance of your enrollment deadline, so you won’t end up in a last-minute time crunch. Remember that insurance companies can be challenging to work with, even if you’re just trying to get simple answers to your enrollment questions. Waiting till the last minute could leave you high and dry. 

Getting Organized Will Save You Time, Effort, and Stress

It’s important to stay organized in your approach to finding and maintaining your health insurance. Make a notation of the number of times you visit the doctor every year. Record your medical expenses. Tracking this information could help you decide whether you need to change insurance in the future. 

About the Author: Kathryn Elwell grew up in the Midwest. She has experience in management and human resources, and has been writing on these topics and more for 12 years.

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