The Freelance/Health Coverage Dilemma

Self-Employment can mean many different things. This broad term refers to careers ranging from daily construction workers to small business owners, from freelance design students to seasonal farm workers. Whether you are pursuing full-time work through a part-time job or working to create your own full-time job, contract work comes with many risks and rewards. The rewards are independence and some control over your day-to-day work environment. One risk is finding enough work to keep going. But there’s a much greater risk to your long-term goals.

The biggest risk when going it on your own in the job market is benefits. If you’re like most self-employed or contract workers, you keep the overhead low by skimping on the employee benefits. When you’re the only employee, that’s just bad business. We are of course talking about the decision whether to purchase individual health insurance or just pay the fine. If you’re in your twenties and everything is going well, why not save a little extra money, right? What are the odds that anything will happen?

Here’s something to consider. How much freelance or part-time work would it take to make $10,000? Without health insurance, that hefty sum may pay for a total of ONE night of treatment in a hospital. At this point you may be thinking about the last time you actually had to spend the night in a hospital and considering taking your chances. Want to know what your chances actually are? If you are under 65, there is a 10% chance that you will spend $30,000 in medical bills in a single year. For perspective, those are about the same odds that you may wreck your car this year.

The moral of the story is perceived risk versus actual risk. Though you may be healthy, things can still happen, and they aren’t that rare. Depending on the severity of losing that gamble, you may face years of debt. In some cases, you could face a lifetime of debt. A catastrophic illness can easily cost as much in a month as you will make in a decade. If financial independence is part of your long-term plan, getting good health coverage as soon as possible should be part of that plan as well.

Don’t risk your financial future on a short-term gamble to save a few bucks. Whatever level of coverage you need and can afford, there is a quality plan available through My Arkansas Insurance. Compare plans and find the best fit for your lifestyle. Think about the future. Get covered before it’s too late.

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