Health insurance options for independent contractors.
Health insurance is a big factor when weighing career profession decisions. It may not be as much of a factor as you think if you are considering operating as an independent contractor.
Traditional Insurance is Expensive
Whether you opt for employer provided coverage or the Affordable Care Act coverage, premiums can be excessive. Quite often deductibles are also excessive. It has one pondering whether the coverage is worth the cost. Health sharing plans are a great alternative to traditional health insurance plans.
Health Sharing Plans
Health sharing plans are a unique approach to traditional health insurance plans. They have been around for more than a century. According to the Alliance of Health Care Sharing Ministries, as of February 2019, over one million American's participated in sharing over $640 million of medical expenses.
See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_care_sharing_ministry. Participants pay a relatively affordable monthly participation fee ranging from $300 to $500 depending on options and family size. All the participants share health expense after a minimum annual participant outlay. Annual deductibles range from $1,000 to $2,500 per year. See https://libertyhealthshare.org/explore-our-programs for an example of what one common health share offers. Preexisting health issues are typically excluded for a specified period. So it is important to carefully weigh if this plan will compliment your health circumstances. Health sharing plans require applicants carefully and thoroughly disclose their health history as part of a detailed application process.
Eligible health sharing plans satisfy the Affordable Care Act coverage requirements so that participants are not required to have traditional health insurance as outlined in the individual mandate.
"In order for members to be exempt from the tax penalties outlined in the Affordable Care Act, ministries must meet the following qualifications:
Must be a 501(c)(3) organization. Members must share common ethical or religious beliefs. Must not discriminate membership based on state of residence or employment. Members cannot lose membership due to development of a medical condition. Must have existed and been in practice continually since December 31, 1999 (a grandfather clause). Must be subject to an annual audit by an independent CPA which must be publicly available upon request."