Update: We’ve got good news and bad news. The good news is that our #HealthcareHustle Twitter chat with PolicyGenius was a hit, and we answered a lot of health insurance questions not just for freelancers but for anyone who is shopping for health insurance on their own.The bad news is that the Twitter chat is over. But more good news! Here are the questions asked during the chat, along with our answers. We cleaned up the Twitter grammar a bit, but don’t worry – we kept the GIFs.What’s that, super Doer? You haven’t bought health insurance for 2017 yet?I get it. You’re busy collecting invoices and finding new clients and, oh yeah, actually doing the work you’re getting paid for. In other words, you’ve got things to do.But getting health insurance is important. Really important – and not just for freelancers, but for everyone. Is it because medical bills have been cited as the leading cause of personal bankruptcies? Is it because you’ll be paying the higher of $695 or 2.5% of your annual household income thanks to the legally-mandated tax penalty if you don’t have health insurance? Is it because, if you’re sick or hospitalized, you shouldn’t have to worry about how you’re going to pay for medical care? Is it because the deadline for Open Enrollment is coming up fast, and after January 31, unless you have any special enrollment period authorizations, you’ll be locked out of health insurance options for the rest of the year? Yes. Yes, it’s because of all of those things.Whether you’re your own boss or punch the clock at an office, you need health insurance. You just might not know how to get it. That’s where Fiverr and PolicyGenius come in. Join us Wednesday January 25th at 2 PM EST/11 AM PST as we take your questions live on Twitter and help you navigate the ins and outs of health insurance.
So how does this work? It’s pretty straightforward.Your job: Ask whatever health insurance questions are on your mind!Follow the PolicyGenius and Fiverr Twitter accounts, use the hashtag #HealthcareHustle, and let us know what’s got you tripped up when it comes to shopping for health insurance.If you need to spark some ideas for questions to ask, we’ve already got resources ready for you. Dig into our Open Enrollment guide, learn the basics of freelancer health insurance, or find out what popular personal finance bloggers think about the health insurance shopping experience.That way, when Wednesday rolls around (or start asking today! We’re not your mom, do what you want!) you’ll be prepared with better questions than, “But what really is health insurance?”Our job: The insurance experts at PolicyGenius, led by CEO and co-founder Jennifer Fitzgerald, will tackle your questions so you get the advice you need in a way that makes sense to you. We’ve built a health insurance marketplace from the ground up, so we know the pain points of shoppers like you. We’ve made health insurance as easy to understand as is scientifically possible, and we’re bringing that expert to Twitter.
So what kinds of questions do people ask about health insurance? What do real people have on their minds when it comes to healthcare? What can you expect during the Twitter Q&A?
How important is it that my doctors are in my network?
If you really like your doctor, you might try to look for a plan where he or she is included in the network. But that could be forcing a square peg into a round hole. Doctors drop insurers, and vice versa, surprisingly frequently, so if you jump through hoops to make sure they’re in your network, they might not be in a few months. It can be a good guideline, but refrain from making it a deal-breaker for different plans.
How much should I be paying for health insurance?
Spending 5% of your monthly income on health insurance premiums is a good benchmark. This will usually land you solidly in the range of a silver plan, and will leave you some wiggle room for out-of-pocket healthcare expenses like paying for deductibles.
Can I really get a subsidy?
Probably! HealthCare.gov recently reported that 81% of 2017 Open Enrollment shoppers received an advance premium tax credit, one of the ways the government subsidizes healthcare costs. You’re eligible for a subsidy if you make between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty line, but subsidies aren’t automatically implemented, so make sure you check if you qualify before you shop.
What should I look for in a health insurance plan?
Your in-network doctors, the premium and deductible amounts, and your prescription drug coverage are all things to take into account when shopping for health insurance. Since you likely won’t be able to find a plan that hits all of those categories, the easiest thing to do is list all of them out and divide them into “must-haves” and “nice-to-haves” so you’re able to judge each plan based on whether or not they hit your must-haves, and how many of your nice-to-haves are covered.Remember, January 31 is the last day to buy health insurance for 2017. If you don’t buy it, you’ll be penalized. Also, you won’t have health insurance. So tune in to the PolicyGenius and Fiverr#HealthcareHustle Twitter chat Wednesday January 25th at 2pm EST/11am PST, then be ready to shop ‘til you drop. And if you do drop, at least you’ll have health insurance.What questions do you have about open enrollment, freelancers? Tell us in the comments below!