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How can I cut my healthcare costs as a self-employed person?

As a self-employed person, there are many ways you can cut your healthcare costs.
  • Start by picking the right plan for you and your covered dependents. Some self-employed people find choosing a plan with a higher deductible and higher out-of-pocket costs can cost less in the long run because of lower premiums.
  • Consider joining a professional or trade organization that offers group health insurance. In many cases, the savings you experience from the health plan more than pay for membership dues in the organization.
  • Give yourself a tax break. Most self-employed people can deduct their health insurance premiums on their taxes, even without itemizing their expenses. Visit the website of the Internal Revenue Service, www.irs.gov, for more information. You can also see if you qualify for a premium tax credit that could lower your monthly premiums at https://www.healthcare.gov/lower-costs/. Your annual income and the state in which you live are factors in determining whether you qualify for this credit. If you qualify, you may also open a health savings account using pre-tax contributions. 
  •  Seek medical services in-network whenever possible. Costs of in-network providers are typically lower and more likely to be covered by your plan than out-of-network providers.
  •  Don't go to the emergency room for minor health problems. If you are experiencing a life- or limb-threatening condition, call 911 or get to the emergency room immediately. If you have twisted your ankle, have an earache or a rash or some other non-emergency, you are much better off seeking care from your own doctor or a walk-in clinic. You will probably not have to wait as long for care, and emergency rooms typically charge more than non-emergency facilities, causing you to have a higher copay and other charges.
  • Make the most of your coverage by having preventive care services (check-ups, screenings, vaccinations, etc.) as recommended by your doctor and as covered by your plan. Staying as healthy as possible is one of the best ways to keep your healthcare costs down.
  • Read your plan documents carefully and visit your insurance provider's website. Some insurance companies offer discounts on products for healthy living, such as exercise equipment.
  • If your doctor writes you a prescription, be sure to talk to your doctor and pharmacist about generic alternatives to name brand drugs. Generic medications typically cost less. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.