Tuesday, 5 October 2021

Why You Should Consider Health Insurance if You’re Self-Employed

When you are self-employed, you are afforded a huge amount of freedom that comes with being your own boss. However, it also comes with a few risks too—one of which being the lack of a safety net if you fall ill. If you have time off work due to sickness when you’re self-employed, you won’t receive any sick pay. The question is then, where does health insurance come in? Private health insurance for the self-employed doesn’t mean that you will be paid for your time off sick; it does, however, mean that you could be seen and treated more quickly for your illness.

What is Health Insurance and What Does it Cover?

When you have health insurance, your provider will cover the cost of your private medical treatment if you should need it. So rather than going through the NHS, which can sometimes take an age, you can be seen far more quickly using your private health insurance. Treatments covered vary depending on the provider you are with, which is why it is important that you do your research and read the small print when it comes to choosing a provider. That being said, there are some things that come as a standard, such as GP and hospital visits. Some companies like Switch Health can be invaluable in helping you to compare policies and get the cover that you want. They can ensure that almost anything that you want to cover, except pre-existing conditions is covered. In most cases, your level of cover will determine the price; the more coverage you want, the higher your premium.

What Isn’t Covered by Health Insurance?

Your health insurance will only cover the costs of your medical treatments, it is not a form of sick pay, and you cannot claim any money back if you need to take time off to recover. Depending on your policy and the provider, they may not cover you for existing chronic conditions, but they could pay for something that becomes acute like diabetes, arthritis, or asthma. Most providers also won’t cover cosmetic procedures. However, it is always worth double-checking with your provider to make sure that you have the coverage that you want and need.

The Benefits of Health Insurance

If you are self-employed and have to take some time off of work because you’re ill, you will lose money. However, by getting seen to and treated as soon as possible, you can get back to work and start earning again. Health insurance makes this more possible because you can avoid NHS waiting lists and receive a diagnosis and treatment more quickly. You will also have access to private hospitals, which tend to be better funded and staffed, which means that you can expect more personalised care.

The Coverage Options

Health insurance plans are often quite flexible; you can agree to exclusions that will lower your premiums; there is also often a chance to add additional benefits onto your plan too. These extras usually include things like mental health cover or dental plans. Most of the time, you have more control over your health insurance coverage as opposed to other forms of insurance. Before you choose a provider, make a list of all of the things that you want to be covered so that you can have it in front of you when discussing your options.

Are There Any Tax Benefits to Taking Out Health Insurance

If you own your own business, or you are a sole trader or the director or a limited company, then you can claim the insurance as a tax-deductible expense; but this is only possible if you offer health insurance as a benefit to all of your employees. If your insurance only covers you, then it is classed as a personal expense, and you cannot claim it through your business. If you are a contractor who works through a limited company, then you have to offset the costs of your premiums against corporation tax. Your company should also pay their employer’s national insurance contributions. If you aren’t sure what applies to you, you speak to an accountant or the company you work for.

In Conclusion

The number of people who are choosing to become self-employed is on the rise. However, a lot of people are also unaware of their options in terms of safeguarding themselves and their businesses from sickness and loss of income. Health insurance is still viewed as a luxury for many people, but in reality, for the self-employed, it is a worthwhile investment. Many of those who are self-employed would find it incredibly difficult to cope financially if they had to take sick leave, which is why health insurance is important; it affords you better protection should you get ill by giving you quicker access to diagnosis and treatment than you would ordinally receive through the NHS.

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