If you’re a freelancer, entrepreneur, part-time worker, or self-employed, you have a few coverage options that work well for independent careers and lifestyles.
- If you leave a job for any reason and lose job-based insurance: You can buy an insurance plan even if it’s outside Open Enrollment. A plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace can be a lot more affordable than COBRA coverage. You have 60 days from when the insurance ends to enroll. Learn about your options when you lose job-based insurance.
- If you have income that’s hard to predict: You can apply with your best estimate of what you expect to make for the year. Your savings will be based on that estimate. When your income changes, you can update your application to adjust your coverage and savings. Learn about filling out an application when your income’s hard to predict.
- If you’re self-employed with little income: You’ll probably qualify for low-cost insurance or free or low-cost coverage through Medicaid. When your income increases, you can adjust or change your coverage to make sure you’re using only the savings you qualify for.
- If you’re starting a business: If you have employees on your payroll you may be able to offer them (and yourself) insurance through the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP). Businesses with just a few employees are likely to qualify for a special tax credit worth up to 50% of your premium costs. Learn about SHOP.
Preview 2017 plans, with prices based on your estimated income. Or just start an application now.
Apply once, see your insurance choices and costs
Fill out just one Health Insurance Marketplace application to find out if you qualify for:
An insurance plan with savings based on your income. You’ll see how much you’ll save immediately. More than 8 in 10 people who apply are eligible for savings, and most of them can find plans for between $50 to $100 per month. You may save on out-of-pocket costs too, meaning you’ll have a lower deductible and pay less each time you get care.
- You can pick a “Catastrophic” health plan — an affordable way to protect yourself from worst-case scenarios.
- One catch: If someone claims you as a tax dependent, you can buy a plan through the Marketplace but won’t qualify for savings based on your income.
Free or low-cost coverage through Medicaid. If you have children, you’ll find out if they qualify for coverage through the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
- If your state has expanded Medicaid coverage, you can qualify based on your income alone – in most states that have expanded, that’s about $16,500 for a single person, about $22,000 for a married couple with no children. Do a quick check here.
Get covered — or pay a fee
- Under the health care law, you must have qualifying health coverage or pay a penalty on your next federal tax return.
- The penalty is 2.5% of household income or $695 per adult (half of that per child), whichever is higher. Learn more about the fee for not being covered.