Insurance and Finance

How to Choose a Self-Employed Health Plan in Texas

By Staci Parks 5.23.22

Quitting is all the rage in Texas. More than 1 million Texans quit their jobs between September and November 2021, according to WFAA. While some workers may be hopping from one cubicle to another, others are opting for a self-employed lifestyle. No matter which path you might have chosen, health insurance is a top consideration — and concern — for many Americans.

Whether you’re part of The Great Resignation or you’ve been self-employed for years, here’s a guide to selecting the right health insurance plan for your needs and how your Texas Farm Bureau member benefits can help ease the burden.

Health Care Plans for Self-Employed Texans

There are three prevalent options for health care plans for self-employed individuals:

1. COBRA. This law allows people to keep employer-sponsored health insurance plans for up to 18 months (in most cases). Because of the expense and limited time frame, freelancers should consider this a temporary coverage option.

2. A spouse’s policy. You might be able to join your spouse’s employer-sponsored health insurance policy, depending on the plan’s terms. But before enrolling, look into the coverage details and projected cost. Joining a spouse’s plan can significantly raise the monthly premium.

3. An individual health insurance plan. The federal marketplace is a good option when searching for health care plans for self-employed individuals. These plans are not associated with an employer or government entity such as Medicare or Medicaid. Typically, you can enroll in one of these plans in Texas between November and January. But certain life events, such as transitioning to full-time self-employment, qualify you to enroll in a plan outside of this time frame.

Explore Your Texas Farm Bureau Member Benefits

Texas Farm Bureau has several health solution benefits that can help offset health care costs for its members. However, it’s important to note that these benefits are not a substitute for a health insurance policy.

Here’s a brief look at Texas Farm Bureau’s health solutions for members and how they can help:

  • Beltone: Members and their immediate family members are eligible for a free hearing screening and a 20% retail discount off more than 80 Beltone hearing aid models.
  • Careington: Members will find a wide range of affordable health care and dental discount plans. There are no limits on use, and everyone is accepted.
  • Coast to Coast Vision™: With this benefit, members can save between 20% and 60% off conventional retail prices on lenses and frames.
  • Prescription discounts: With NBrx and Agelity, Texas Farm Bureau members can save on prescription drugs at pharmacies throughout the state.

Additional Coverage Options

Some employers offer additional optional benefits, such as life insurance and long-term care policies. However, employees often lose these policies when they leave the company. While you’re sorting through health care plans for self-employed individuals, take this time to consider these additional coverage options.

Life insurance. This can be a difficult topic (especially when you’re making a big career change), but life insurance can be an advantageous investment — especially for freelancers. Having the right amount of life insurance would help replace a portion of your income for your family in the event of your death. A term life insurance policy is a good option for freelancers because it’s affordable and easy to understand. Plus, you have guaranteed exchange options, meaning you can convert to a whole life policy.

Long-term care. Should you need it, this type of policy often covers assistance with daily activities — such as bathing, dressing, and eating — that are not covered by most health care insurance plans or Medicare. It’s wise to include this sort of policy in your financial plan, as it can help protect you from paying out of pocket for long-term care down the road.

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Coverage and discounts are subject to qualifications and policy terms and may vary by situation.
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