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Contract, Gig Or Freelancer? Yes, You Can Get Health Insurance

Contract, Gig Or Freelancer? Yes, You Can Get Health Insurance
Did you know that it is estimated the number of global gig workers are as many as 435 million people – increasing about 41% between 2016 and the first quarter of 2023? We Canadians are not alone as we leap to self-employed work. But can we still have health insurance benefits?

Your employment may not fit into a neat job title when you choose to do independent work. You may be a true free agent who chooses to work for yourself (self-employed). Or maybe you work independently to supplement your retirement income. With the economy always changing, you may currently be working reluctantly with one or many independent jobs even if you would prefer traditional work.

Freelancing, contract, or gig work has its freedoms, and its challenges. When you work for yourself, there isn’t an employer providing you with group insurance benefits that include health coverage.

If you are looking for out-of-pocket healthcare cost protection, there are a few things to know about health insurance. Here are some thoughts on what you need.

What health insurance do you need?

When you work freelance you absolutely can get health insurance, but do you need it? Many people associate health insurance with either provincial insurance or group benefits offered by an employer. But individual health and dental plans are available for freelancers, contract workers, self-employed professionals, small business owners, and employees without workplace benefits.

Although the government does provide you, a Canadian resident, with health insurance in Canada through your province or territory of residence, there are a variety of health care services that are not covered. Too often this leaves you and your family without adequate coverage for routine and emergency medical care. A supplemental health insurance plan can fill in the gaps – protecting your health and your money if the unexpected happens.

Having health care coverage helps you handle the costs of medical treatments when they are needed, and health insurance will deliver preventative healthcare tools to help you lead a healthier lifestyle.

The best thing is that by having your own health insurance coverage in place you can count on it for as long as you pay your premiums. You get steady coverage if you are working full-time, part-time, between gigs or changing projects — your plan is with you every step of the way providing coverage for things like

  • Prescription drugs
  • Dental care
  • Vision care
  • Massage treatment or physiotherapy
  • Psychology
  • Nursing care
  • Medical equipment
  • Emergency travel health (if you are working a minimum of 15 hours per week)
  • Semi-private hospital accommodations.

HealthPlus Insurance is a great option for freelancers and contract workers

Plan designs vary for health insurance. Some comprehensive plans include everything while others are more bare bones. Coverage options that include drugs, dental, vision, emergency travel health, semi-private hospital, massage, physiotherapy, psychology, nursing care, medical equipment and more are available.

HealthPlus Insurance covers all of this and more. You are eligible regardless of where you work – a studio, shared space, head office or home, factory, or farm. You can be at any stage in your career.  You are eligible to apply up to your 75th birthday and stay covered to age 90 (travel to age 75).

With HealthPlus you may also choose to cover your family, with adult children covered up to age 21 (or age 25 for students). When your kids outgrow your plan, they can keep HealthPlus without re-applying.

How much does it cost? Your monthly rate will vary depending on whether you opt for single, couple, or family coverage or single parent pricing, the type of plan and whether you are in good health when you apply. HealthPlus plans start at $89/month (as at 9.23) and include dental, drug, professional therapists, travel health coverage, and extras. The same rates apply at any age, start low and don’t automatically jump every 5 years due to age (unlike some other plans).

More great news if you work for yourself

If you work for yourself the cost of health insurance is fully tax-deductible. This means your actual net cost is lower than your stated monthly rate.

And, if your business grows Health Plus for Teams offers great flexibility. It can cover you, your partners, and your people, part-time, full-time, or on contract.

Put your mind at ease with health insurance

Working solo is both stressful and rewarding. Insurance helps put your mind at ease about future health expenses and the right plan offers perks so you’re at your best. Still have questions? Call us at SBIS. We can answer any questions about HealthPlus or any of the great health plans available, including our exclusive Prism health plans. When you call or e-mail, you’ll always get one of us, not a call centre.

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