In The News
5 Healthcare Options to Consider for Expediters
When you were employed by a company that offered benefits, getting good healthcare was most likely easy and affordable.
But now as a 1099 driver or owner-operator, you have to foot the full bill for healthcare benefits. And with a wide range of plans to consider, the process of shopping for health coverage can be intimidating.
So, where do you even begin the search? Here are five options to help get you started.
Go to: https://www.healthcare.gov/
Healthcare.gov is the federal government-run healthcare exchange as set out by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), otherwise known as ObamaCare.
Some states have created their own exchanges, while others use the federal government’s Healthcare.gov exchange.
Open enrollment ends December 15, 2018, for 2019 coverage. So, if you don’t purchase health insurance during the Open Enrollment Period, you will need to experience a “qualifying life event” to be able to buy major medical coverage. These events include:
● The loss of a job
● A move to a new coverage area
● The birth of a child
● The loss of existing coverage because of marriage, divorce, or turning 26 and you’re no longer being able to stay on a parent’s plan.
A qualifying life event triggers a 60-day “special enrollment period” when you can apply for major medical coverage.
Depending on your income, you may also qualify for ACA subsidies, also known as Premium Tax Credits, to help reduce the cost of your monthly health insurance premiums.
Go to: https://www.ehealth.com
eHealth.com is a private online health insurance exchange where individuals, families and small businesses can compare health insurance products from brand-name insurers side-by-side and purchase coverage either online or over the phone. The company (through its subsidiaries) is licensed to sell health insurance in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, offering more than 10,000 health insurance products.
Here’s a link to a helpful resource by eHealth for a comprehensive look at your health coverage options: “3 Steps to Understanding Health Insurance (You Buy Yourself).”
If you’re a member of OOIDA (Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association), look into the Minimum Essential Coverage plans for individuals and families offered by OOIDA’s Medical Benefits Group. The plans offer coverage of preventive services and screenings, while also satisfying the requirements of the individual mandate under the Affordable Care Act.
Go to: http://www.enroll1st.com/
Earlier this year, Enrollment First, Inc. announced a partnership with trucking wellness app, Rolling Strong, to create a “full-service solution” that combines insurance and wellness programs for truckers, including 1099 drivers and owner-operators.
Enrollment First, Inc. offers health benefits through an association platform that are guaranteed issue (where a policy is offered to any eligible applicant without regard to health status) during open enrollment and independent of a contractor’s employment, which is especially valuable for contractors with pre-existing medical conditions in their families.
Go to: https://www.libertyhealthshare.org/
Healthcare Sharing Services, commonly known as cost-sharing ministries or faith-based cost-sharing services, are not considered “health insurance” but are ACA compliant. That’s because there is a designation in the ACA for healthcare sharing ministries that exempts participants from the penalties and fines for not having insurance.
And one organization that fits this mold is Liberty HealthShare, a healthcare sharing ministry of Gospel Light Mennonite Church Medical Aid Plan, Inc., a religious 501(c)3 nonprofit.
At Liberty Healthshare, monthly “share amounts” (a.k.a. payments) range from $250 to $600, based on age and whether it’s a single, couple, or family program.
How do you qualify?
You must abstain from tobacco in any form; cannot abuse alcohol, illegal drugs or prescription drugs; be healthy and lead a healthy lifestyle, and agree with the shared beliefs of the program and its members.
(For more details, see: https://member.libertyhealthshare.org/do-i-qualify.)