Life as a contract worker has its attractions, like independence and more control over work/life, but it also carries risks. Individuals and independent contractors have no Benefits Department. They are left to sort through dozens of websites and lists of plans, all while trying to get to the key information: is my doctor on this plan? What’s the cost? What, exactly is covered? What’s the tradeoff if I choose a high deductible? Not to mention, high premium costs.
It’s true most people do obtain health insurance coverage through their employer, but you may still be able to benefit from group health insurance even though you are not currently employed, are a contract worker, small business owner, or your employer does not provide healthcare coverage. In general, an association or membership organization is a group created to support the interests of people in a specific industry or trade.
Depending on the state you live in, there are ways to get group health insurance through associations and membership organizations. Unlike individual health insurance plans that include an underwriting process that requires a health exam and have a high turn-down rate, with group health insurance, the chances of getting coverage declined are minimal and the coverage includes most major benefits. Group coverage also tends to have much smaller deductibles than individual healthcare resulting in a reduction of out-of-pocket spend.
This is because, even if you are an “individual”, you can take advantage of the benefits offered by an association or “partnership”. It is offered conveniently as an in-app purchase when enrolling in health insurance via the Candor* app. Another major reason to purchase healthcare coverage through the app is the additional bundling of Prosper Benefits** that include products like Teladoc, discounts for vision and dental coverage, and even plans to cover MRIs and CT scans and more.
The simplicity of buying healthcare coverage through the use of the Candor app enables enrollment in a fraction of the normal time, clearly shows major Carrier pricing, and enables you to join the association simultaneously, all while receiving quality coverage and the bundling of Prosper Benefits.
Healthcare coverage is a big expense for many self-employed workers and individuals. The savings for enrolling through a “partnership or association” far outway the fee, often reducing the premiums by 30% to 50% and the new member is entitled to all benefits. An independent contractor, freelancer etc can also deduct the cost of health insurance premiums.
“If [consumers] can join large groups, get protection and less expensive insurance … it will solve a lot of problems in the individual market,” Senator Paul said on the NBC show “Morning Joe.”
According to HealthAffairs.org, Association healthcare coverage has been especially popular with small businesses and individual consumers because of a presumption that large groups have more market clout and negotiating power than small groups or individuals, a promise of better rates and benefits, and, in some cases, a promise of more consumer protections than are available in the individual market. According to researchers, one of every four employers (and one of every three businesses with fewer than ten employees) provides benefits through association-type arrangements. Some data are available from state insurance regulators in support of this finding. For example, regulators in Georgia estimate that associations cover 1.5 million residents, in contrast to the state’s traditional small-group market that covers 300,000 people.
So, take a look at what is available to you as an “individual’, you might be surprised to see just how much value is achievable.
For more information, email us [email protected] or call us at (706) 252-8077.
Candor is a technology and marketplace company providing powerful analytics, tools, and methodologies to benefit agencies, carriers, and health care providers. We are the health companion that enables Americans to access the information and solutions they need to achieve a state of complete independence, success and wellbeing.
Prosper Benefits: This discount card program is NOT insurance, not intended to replace insurance, and does not meet the minimum creditable coverage requirements under the Affordable Care Act or Massachusetts M.G.L. c. 111M and 956 CRM 5.00. It contains a 30-day cancellation period, provides discounts only at the offices of contracted health care providers, and each member is obligated to pay the discounted medical charges in full at the point of service. For more information and complete list of disclosures, please click here.