Why I am paying $400 a month for health insurance as a freelancer

  • As a freelancer, I pay about $400 a month for my health insurance.
  • It’s worth it to me because I have psychiatric care; I only pay a $10 co-payment for therapy.
  • I would be reluctant to accept an employer plan that doesn’t cover mental health in the same way.

I am self-employed and pay for my health care through the marketplace. For the first year after my divorce, because my tax return included my household income from my marriage, I had to pay the full fee, which was a shame and a huge financial drain. This year I was able to qualify for some help and it has helped tremendously, but I still pay over $300 a month for medical care, $25 a month for vision, and varying amounts a month for co-payments and prescription fees , as required.

I decided against dental insurance as it doesn’t cover much and I have generally healthy teeth. I budget at least $1,000 a year for routine dental care. I could try to find a cheaper dentist or go to the local dental school for treatment, but I have some dental anxiety and like my hygienist, who covers me with a warm blanket, gives me headphones, and turns on “Schitt’s Creek” for me while they do brush my teeth. I tell myself skipping an anxiety attack is worth the money.

I have opted for a high-level mental health coverage plan

I opted for a fairly high-level plan with a low deductible because it covers mental health. If the walk to therapy is covered, it’s worth it. I go to a therapist weekly for a co-payment of only $10 and to my doctor once a month for a co-payment of $20; $60 a month for five hours of care is a steal. It’s technically $400 a month since I pay the premium, prescription prices, and co-payments, but that’s still better than paying entirely out of pocket and relieves me of the guilt of prioritizing my mental health have conceded.

Conversely, per our parent agreement, my kids are on my ex’s marketplace plan, which costs him a lot less per month per person, but we pay a lot more to meet the deductible for mental health specialists. So while I’m not paying for her insurance, I’m budgeting my share of the deductible and cap for her health care.

Why I would hesitate to get health insurance from an employer

I would be nervous about completing a health plan if I ever got a clerk job that didn’t cover what my current plan covers. Over the years it has been a nightmare when our insurance has changed and we have had to find new providers. Providers have also canceled our insurance and usually, but not always, notified us in good time to set up a new provider or select a new plan that includes them prior to the end of the enrollment period.

In my opinion, health care should be absolutely universal. It is very important for my children to see specialists and they should be involved as well. Mental health care, which in many cases is preventive and can reduce a person’s medical costs over time, should be universally covered regardless of the plan. Unfortunately, that’s not the reality, so as a freelancer on a budget, I plan ahead and keep detailed records.

Comments are closed.