Being self-employed has a lot of advantages, but health care isn't one of them.
Sure, you can go on vacation at a moment's notice. But, if you injure yourself while cliff jumping in Belize, you might not have insurance to cover the hospital bill.
Self employed Canadians are responsible for getting their own healthcare. Though figuring out how to get health and dental insurance for yourself is inconvenient, it's important that you do.
It's not worth the risk to go without it.
Individual Health insurance can cost hundreds of dollars a year. But there are alternatives to make it more cost friendly. Since your business is your livelihood, you want to make sure you are getting the best bang for your buck.
How do you navigate this expansive and confusing world of healthcare coverage?
Now that you're self employed, it's time to sign up for the right insurance plans. Here's how to get health insurance for self employed in Canada.
If You're Just Leaving a Plan, You Are In Luck
If you've just left your day job for your dream job, then getting health insurance is easy. There are policies that grant you a continuation on your health and dental insurances. You will continue to get the offset of costs that come with group benefits.
Sounds great, right?
It may sound like your health and dental insurance search is over as soon as it started. However, if you've been a freelancer for more than sixty days, then you are sadly out of luck. The window to enroll in these polices only lasts two months.
For those who have put in the due-diligence, your transition to freelance life should go smoothly. But if you haven't fully prepared for this change, then you need to continue looking into other options.
If Your Spouse Has Insurance You Might Be Set
You might not have to look too far for your next health insurance option. The solution might very well be sleeping next to you at night. If your spouse has a job you can be added to their insurance.
There is an additional fee to add a spouse or dependent to most employer healthcare plans. But this is smaller than any price you'd pay for an individual plan.
You have two options if you don't have a spouse. You can either go out there and find one or look into other options. Both options aren't easy!
An Individual Health Insurance Policy Is Another Option
If the first two options don't apply to you then you will need to get an individual health care policy. Of course, the Canadian health plan does cover a portion of your medical costs, but you still need supplemental coverage.
Without the benefit of a group alleviating the overhead, you might end up paying a lot out of your own pocket.
It really depends on what types of services you anticipate you might need. Of course, you can't predict what will happen next, but there are some coverages you can't go without.
Some of those must-haves include coverage for prescriptions, dental, hospital, and ambulance services. But, who knows, you may also need crutches or a wheelchair. Those would be additional fees, but it's better to be safe than sorry.
You Need To Get A Health Spending Account
A health spending account, better known as an HSA, is a great option for self-employed Canadians. An HSA lets you pay all of your medical expenses out of your business and not your personal income.
This is like making a deal with you and your corporation. Your business will reimburse you for all medical costs. The advantage of this exchange is that it's one-hundred percent tax-free.
With an HSA, any health care plan you choose will become totally tax deductible. You're paying off your insurance and saving money at the same time. It makes prudent business sense to get a healthy spending account.
You Can Get Help From the Federal Government
Sometimes being self-employed can get you into money trouble. Without a guaranteed weekly income, saving money for health insurance can be tricky. Don't let your family suffer!
The Canadian government is there for you. If you have dependents, there are many federally funded insurance plans to help cover your family in times of need. The Ministry of Health can get you on one of these programs if it comes to that.
These services don't last forever, but they are the perfect band-aid for those lean months of your new business. If you don't have a family then you most likely will need another option.
If All Else Fails, Try To Get Holistic
Some people literally can't afford any supplemental health care coverage. These people may want to try getting more experimental with their health care.
As a self-employed person you've already chosen an alternative lifestyle so why not try alternative medicines? Holistic therapies have been proven to improve the health and well being of people's lives.
Though these services can't cure you of anything serious, they can offer you balance and harmony in your life.
Some holistic practices include acupuncture, chiropractic medicine, and massage therapy. There are also herbal medications you can try. Some of these practices can be expensive, but there are programs to help offset the costs.
Options for Health Insurance For Self Employed in Canada
Don't worry, Canada will have you covered. Maybe your spouse comes to the rescue or you get an HSA for your individual plan. As you can see, there are many options for health insurance for self employed in Canada.
If you still feel lost, there are people out there who can help. Contact us today and we'll put you in the right direction to getting insured.