- I pay about $400 a month for my self-employed health insurance.
- For me it is worth it because I have mental health coverage; I only pay a $10 copay for the therapy.
- I would be hesitant to accept an employer plan that didn’t cover mental health in the same way.
I am self-employed and pay for my health care through the marketplace. The first year after my divorce, because my tax return showed my household income when I got married, I had to pay the full rate, which was a hassle and a huge financial strain. This year, I was able to qualify for some help and it has been a great help, but I am still paying over $300 a month for medical services, $25 a month for vision services, and varying amounts per month for copays and prescription fees based on need.
I opted not to get dental insurance as it didn’t cover much and I generally have healthy teeth. I budget at least $1,000 a year for routine dental care. I could try to find a cheaper dentist or go to the local dental school to get treated, but I have some dental anxiety and I like my hygienist, who covers me with a warm blanket, gives me headphones and turns on “Schitt’s Creek” for me. while she cleans my teeth. I tell myself that an anxiety attack is worth skipping.
Choose a top-tier plan for your mental health coverage
I chose a fairly high plan with a low deductible because of its mental health coverage. If the therapy is covered, it’s worth it. I see a therapist weekly for just a $10 copay and see my prescriber once a month for a $20 copay; $60 a month for five hours of care is a bargain. Technically, it’s $400 a month from when I pay premium, prescription prices, and co-pays, but it’s still better than paying out of pocket entirely and frees me from guilt for prioritizing my mental health.
Instead, under our paternity agreement, my kids are on my ex’s marketplace plan, one that costs him much less per month per person, but we pay much more to meet the deductible on mental health specialists. . So even though I don’t pay for your insurance, I budget for my share of the deductible and out-of-pocket maximum for your health care, too.
Why You Would Hesitate To Take An Employer Health Insurance Plan
I would be nervous about taking a health plan if I ever had a staffing job that didn’t cover what my current plan covers. Over the years it has been a nightmare when our insurance has changed and we have had to find new providers. Providers have also canceled our insurance, usually, but not always, giving us enough notice to establish a new provider or choose a new plan that includes them before the end of the enrollment period.
In my opinion, health care should be absolutely universal. For my children it is very necessary to see specialists and those should also be included. Mental health care, which in many cases is preventative and can lower a person’s medical expenses over time, should be covered across the board, no matter the plan. Unfortunately, that’s not the reality, so as a freelancer on a budget, I plan ahead and keep detailed records.