This blog post was made in collaboration with Washington Healthplanfinder and all my opinions are my own.
Are you looking for health insurance as a freelancer in Washington State? Here are a few things to look out for if you’re shopping for health insurance for the first time.
I decided to take my blog and Instagram full-time this year. While it was my original plan to take content creation full-time next summer, getting laid off from my corporate job of 6 years was the push I needed to leap into the next chapter of my career. Being a freelancer has given me the flexibility and the opportunities to work with some of my favorite brands. However, being a freelancer also means that I’ve had to figure out what my healthcare coverage was going to look like.
My involuntary lay-off package outlined that my current health insurance would be subsidized for the first 3 months at $55/month. While my health insurance was laid out for me as a laid-off aerospace employee, I know other freelancers may not have the same situation. If you’re a freelancer (content creator, blogger, photographer, graphic designers, etc.) or self-employed in Washington State, you can use Washington Healthplanfinder to help you find the right health insurance plan for you.
What is Washington Healthplanfinder?
Washington Healthplanfinder is a state-based exchange. It’s a marketplace for Washington State residents, both individuals and families, to find, compare and enroll in healthcare, dental plans, and Medicaid (Washington Apple Health).
When can you sign up for a healthcare plan?
Open enrollment is open from November 1st to December 15th for coverage beginning January 1st.
How can you browse and sign up for healthcare plan?
Here are a few things to look out for when looking for health insurance for the first time as a freelancer:
Did you know that there are 4 categories of health insurance plans? As a freelancer or a self-employed businessperson, there might be one category that works best for your health and lifestyle. While these different plans have nothing to do with the quality of care, they do have to do with how you plan to split the cost for healthcare.
- Lowest monthly premium
- Highest cost when you need care – this means that deductibles for this plan may require you to pay thousands of dollars out of pocket before your insurance plan kicks in
- Moderate monthly premium
- Moderate cost when you need care – usually the deductible for silver plans are lower than the bronze plans
- High monthly premiums
- Low cost when you need care – these plans have lower deductibles than both bronze and silver
- Highest monthly premium
- Lowest cost when you get care – these plans have the lowest deductibles which means your insurance plan will kick in earlier than others
A deductible is the amount you personally pay for covered health care services before your insurance plan kicks in and covers the rest. For example, a $6,000 deductible means you have to pay $6,000 out of pocket before your insurance plan picks up the rest of your medical costs.
When you’re researching and comparing health insurance plans, you’ll see the “Est. Premium”. This is the amount that you pay for health insurance each month. This cost doesn’t include co-payments, co-insurance, or other out of pocket costs.
It’s important to remember that your monthly premium is not the only cost of your health insurance. The estimated total yearly cost helps remind you that there are other out of pocket costs like copays, prescriptions, etc. that you might incur during the year.
Copayment or “copays”
After you’ve met your deductible, copayment Is the fixed amount you pay for health care coverage.
If you’re shopping for health insurance for the first time and all of this seems really overwhelming, Washington Healthplanfinder can help you navigate potential plans that might work for you with:
Virtual Help and In-Person Enrollment Centers
You can find either an insurance broker or navigator to help you get enrolled or answer any questions before you choose a plan. There are navigators and insurance brokers available across Washington State that can provide assistance.
I hope sharing Washington Healthplanfinder and breaking down terms like copays and premiums helped you understand the process of finding a health insurance plan as a freelancer.
What other tips do you have for finding health insurance as a freelancer?
Thank you for reading!