Health insurance is a hot topic in the business world these days as the deadline for the implementation of the Affordable Healthcare Act draws closer. Until recently, a large majority of people working from home simply went without health insurance, but you can't get away with that anymore. For moms who work at home as legal employees of a company, health insurance may be offered. However, for moms who work from home as contractors or who are self-employed, health insurance options are changing.
Healthcare.gov, a website created to provide answers to the public about health insurance laws and expectations, says that people who are "self-employed" under the law are those who work for themselves and have no employees or are those who self-generate income and only hire a certain number of freelance contractors. Because of the requirement to participate in health insurance under the Affordable Healthcare Act, you will need to find an option that lays out a health insurance plan.
The Marketplace is a program where individuals can apply for health insurance through state insurance exchanges. Depending on income and several other factors, individuals may qualify for subsidies to help pay for premiums. Health insurance can be very expensive depending on your tax status, pre-existing conditions, age and the type of policy needed, among other things. Currently, around 42 million people are technically their own boss. That's close to a third of the American work force, so you're not alone!
If you don't qualify for any government subsidies of health insurance premiums, you may find that required health insurance is above your ability to reasonably sustain in comparison to the income you make as a work at home mom. Remember, everyone's situation is different and it's important to explore the options that pertain to your individual circumstance so you know what is and is not required for you under the law.
Some other options to explore are:
- A spouse's insurance plan – If you have a spouse who has health insurance through their job, you can add yourself and get covered to be in compliance with the law.
- A professional group – Professional and trade groups, like associations, may offer healthcare coverage that you can take advantage of. Premiums may be lower.
- A personal policy – If you're self-employed, you have the option of purchasing a low-premium/high-deductible policy for yourself. Keep in mind, there are often issues that affect premiums such as lifestyle choices (smoking etc.), age and pre-existing conditions.
As of January 2014, the Affordable Healthcare Act will require you to participate in some type of health insurance plan, so explore your options and plan accordingly.