One of the realities of our system is that insurance, especially health insurance, is often tied to a full-time job. As a result, many gig workers don’t get access to some of the same benefits that they might otherwise have.
Some companies, though, offer access to insurance for freelancers, consultants and other gig workers. If you’re trying to figure out how to make the most of your situation and get the coverage you need, here are some of the best insurance options for gig workers.
Best Insurance Options for Gig Workers
If you’re trying to save money on insurance as a gig worker, there are a number of ways to reduce your costs and make sure you’re covered. In some cases, health insurance and disability insurance can be found elsewhere when you can’t get coverage through work. In other cases, you might want to slash your insurance bill for other policies in order to put less strain on your variable income.
For help identifying the best insurance options for gig workers, using a site like Policygenius can be a good start. While Policygenius doesn’t actually provide the insurance, it is a broker and can help you find the insurance you need, depending on what you’re looking for.
Simply provide information about yourself and what you’re looking for, and Policygenius will help you find an affordable plan--whether it’s for health, life, car, disability or home--that can cover you. This is a solid way to move forward if you’re trying to make the most of your money as a gig worker.
One of the best term life insurance options for gig workers is Bestow. For the policies offered by Bestow, you don’t even need a medical exam and you can get low-cost term life insurance designed to help protect your family if you pass on. For many gig workers, the income they bring in is vital, and without it, your family could be in trouble. An affordable life insurance policy can make a big difference for your peace of mind.
Need a way to insure your home? Lemonade offers renters and homeowners insurance at affordable rates. Prices are relatively low. Plus, Lemonade is a B-Corp., meaning it has a social mission as well. When you get renters or homeowners insurance through Lemonade, a portion of your premiums go toward charity. It’s a good way to reduce your overall insurance cost as a gig worker while helping others.
Gig Economy Companies That Offer Insurance
Sometimes your best option for insurance as a gig worker is through the company you work with. You might be surprised at some of the gig economy companies that offer some type of insurance benefits. Some of these companies include:
It’s important to note, however, that many of these companies don’t actually offer insurance themselves. Instead, they work with providers to offer access to special plans. When shopping around for insurance, it’s important to consider your options.
If you’re working with multiple gig economy companies, you might want to see which offer the best discounts and consider which companies they work with. There are a number of platforms like Bunker, Stride Health and Zego that offer to match gig workers with insurance benefits. Some of the gig economy workers can access the same platforms via different companies.
Use the Health Exchanges
As a gig worker, don’t forget to check your state’s health insurance exchange. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) established exchanges designed to help more people access health insurance. In addition to providing a variety of plans, you might also qualify for a tax benefit to help lower your monthly insurance premium.
Gig workers most likely to benefit from this insurance option are those who are looking for family coverage or those who only need to cover themselves and qualify for a catastrophic plan. Carefully look at your health insurance options and consider whether it makes sense to get a plan through a gig economy company, or whether it makes sense to get insurance separately through a provider, or whether you should get on the health exchange.
A little research can go a long way when comparing insurance policies as a gig worker.
Add a Health Savings Account to the Mix
One way to make the most of your healthcare dollars is to use a Health Savings Account (HSA). If you get a high-deductible health plan, you might qualify for an HSA and then you can set tax-advantaged money aside for use on medical costs. This is a good way for gig workers to supplement a health insurance plan with a way to pay for qualified health care costs.
Related: The Best HSA Accounts
Health Insurance Alternatives
Another consideration when it comes to the best insurance options for gig workers is to consider alternatives. In some cases, it makes more sense to use a healthshare plan instead of buying into insurance.
A healthshare plan isn’t true insurance, but it is often less expensive. You pay a small monthly fee and if you end up in an emergency, you can apply to the healthshare to pay your bills. It’s important to note that these aren’t usually regulated the same way insurance companies are, so you need to be careful. However, a good healthshare plan can be a low-cost way to get access to some peace of mind, as well as help you cover potential medical bills.
Prescription Drug Plans
Another alternative is to sign up for a prescription drug plan. With one of these plans, you can get discounts on certain medications without the need for insurance. This can be a way for gig workers to supplement their health insurance with a prescription plan, especially if the health plan they get doesn’t cover prescriptions.
Carefully consider which prescription drug plans fit your needs, and how you can use them in conjunction with one of the other insurance options for gig workers.
Finding insurance as a gig worker can be challenging. Health insurance, especially, can be difficult to find. However, there are options available, especially if you shop around and use the internet to find alternatives.