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One of the biggest challenges facing freelancers today (aside from landing paying clients) is finding affordable healthcare coverage. In fact, according to a 2016 study by Upwork, 11 million freelancers in the U.S. workforce are without health insurance. It can be tempting to go without it, but that’s a disaster waiting to happen. If you have questions about where to go, try these six resources to find affordable health care when you’re self-employed.

1. Gig Service Companies It is wise to start here. If you are currently employed or work through a gig service company, check to see if there are any benefits offered to you. It’s rare, but a few gig service companies offer health benefits to freelancers who use their platforms.

Care.com offers health insurance to its professional caregivers, and Instacart recently reclassified some of its contract workers as part-time employees to make them eligible for health benefits.

2. Associations If you are a freelancer or contract worker, chances are that you belong to an association as an investment in your networking and career. Industry-specific organizations like the National Writer’s Union, the National Association of REALTORS®, or the Professional Photographers of America, are great places to find health insurance. These organizations offer group pricing to their members by distributing health care costs among their members to help ease the burden of medical bills on individual members. A great example of this is the Association of United Internet Consultants (AUIC). They have a diverse body of members and offer great insurance options to members. For more information visit AUIC.org.

No matter which option you choose, keep this in mind: Whenever you sign a legal document — including a health insurance policy – make sure to read the fine print. A thorough understanding of your coverage could save you big bucks. We can help you understand how insurance works and the benefits that come with it, and consultation is free.

3. Health Insurance Brokers
If you find that neither a service you work for, or an association you are a part of offer insurance benefits, it is time to seek out individual insurance. This may often feel overwhelming or difficult to understand. Fortunately – you are not alone! Health insurance brokers assemble a variety of plans from several health insurance companies based on the type of coverage you’re looking for so you can quickly compare them and find what you need. Reputable health insurance brokers will also take time to listen to your situation and help educate you on what is available.

If you find yourself in need of insurance but have many questions and concerns, this is a great place to start! In fact, you’re already in the right spot! Insurance Geeks has insurance specialists on hand ready to answer your insurance questions and guide you through the field of options to find a solution that best fits your needs. The consultation is free! Call us to get connected at 855-826-0030.

4. Health Insurance Marketplace
Depending on your income and household size, you may qualify for Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), premium tax credits or other savings options through the Affordable Care Act. You can create an online account and complete an application to find out what benefits you’re eligible to receive. If you need assistance or have questions about getting insurance through the marketplace you can call and speak with an insurance specialist here at Insurance Geeks.

5. Health Insurance Companies
Health insurance companies offer private health insurance plans to individuals. However, due to the nature of you enrolling as a single policy whether it be yourself or entire family, the premium expense is likely to be significantly higher than the other options. The companies offer a wide range of price points and coverage options to choose from. It can be difficult to figure out the right one to choose, but it’s worth it to spend time researching your choices.

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For all your insurance needs, Insurance Geeks is here to help! We are available by phone at 855-826-0030 or see what you qualify for online by clicking here.