by Brooke Jarchow
Freelancing might seem like a dream: setting your own hours, choosing your own projects and working from home. Who wouldn’t want to be their own boss?
However, a major advantage to working in a salaried position is having access to employer-sponsored benefits like health insurance. While freelancers may have more flexibility in their schedules as opposed to salaried employees, they also have to figure out health insurance on their own.
Paying for health insurance on your own can be costly, but fortunately, the benefits provided by health plans often outweigh going uninsured when it comes to cost. In addition, if you’re a freelancer, your schedule may allow you to use your health plan in ways a salaried employee might not be able to. Below, we outline benefits and tips to remind freelancers why finding health insurance doesn’t have to be difficult.
Get free preventive care
Health insurance plans cover the costs of preventive care, including an annual physical, contraceptives, some vaccinations, and routine screenings. Without health insurance, an annual physical could cost as much as $200 dollars. Consider this: Can you really afford this cost on your own without coverage?
Use online resources
Most health insurance plans allow you to access your medical information online. In addition, you can set up auto-payments, book appointments, and access help online. These tools can save you time and prevent you from accidentally missing a payment.
Some health insurance plans offer telemedicine services, as well. If you’re unsure if you need to see a doctor, you can pick up the phone and speak to your primary care doctor without leaving your home. Keep in mind that some prescriptions can be refilled over the phone and some conditions can be diagnosed and treated without ever leaving your home.
Schedule appointments at off-times
With your flexibility as a freelancer, you can avoid scheduling appointments at peak times, when most people who work a 9 to 5 job wouldn’t necessarily have this luxury. You’ll likely have to wait less time to be seen by a doctor if you schedule during mid-morning or mid-afternoon when most people are at work.
Ask questions about treatment and medications
A major way to save at the doctor’s office or at the hospital regardless of your health plan is by asking questions. All too often, people assume the treatment they are receiving is necessary and fail to ask for a cheaper alternative. Ask your doctor how the results of any test, surgery, or exam might change your treatment. Remember, you can decline treatments that will not impact your condition, and you can decline equipment such as slings, braces, and wheelchairs. Most equipment can be purchased outside of a doctor’s office for much less money. In addition to asking questions about your treatment, asking your doctor about medications can save you money, as well. Keep in mind that generic medications are often less expensive than name brands and may be covered under some health plans.
Do you have questions about health insurance? Visit gohealth.com or call (888) 322-7557 to speak with a licensed agent today.