Health Insurance as an Independent Contractor

Whether you are a typical health employee or an independent contractor, you need health insurance to cover your healthcare costs. Many 1099 employees wonder which path they can follow to enroll in an insurance program. The good news is that finding high-quality health cover is easy and doesn't consume much time. Read on to find out how to secure a health insurance plan for yourself and your family as an independent contractor. 

How to Figure Out Which Health Insurance You Need 

Figuring out which health insurance plan best suits you can be a challenge. Many companies claim to help independent contractors shop for policies, but their rates are often off the roof. The benefits also vary, making it crucial to do a background evaluation. Some of the essential services you can expect from all Affordable Care Act (ACA) are:

  • Habilitative and rehabilitative services
  • Mental and addictive health services
  • Emergency and ambulatory services 
  • Maternity and pregnancy care services
  • Preventive, disease, and wellness, management services

 Before you pick the benefits, consider: 

  • Affordability: Paying health insurance monthly premiums can be pricier for locum tenens than getting it through an employer. The average monthly cost for a family cover is about $1230, while you can pay $484 a month as a person. Ensure you shop around to find ideal plans to fit your budget. 
  • Coverage: Affordable Care Act (ACA) plans come in several options and cover different needs. Some health cover types you can pick from include: 
    • Exclusive Provider Organization (EPO)
    • High Maintenance Organization (HMO)
    • Preference Provider Organization (PPO)
    • High-Deductible Plan (HDHP)
    • Customer-Driven Health (CDHP)
  • Deductibles: The average cost of deductibles stands at $1,644, making it crucial to evaluate how much you can afford to pay for the cover based on your financial strength. The lower the deductible, the higher the monthly premiums will be. 

How to Acquire Health Insurance as an Independent Contractor

You can explore various channels to secure an affordable health cover as a 1099 worker. They include: 

Health Insurance Marketplace

You can enroll for an independent health insurance plan in November-December through the government's HealthCare marketplace. It will help you register your kids in the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and check if you qualify for tax credits or low health cover premiums. You can also take advantage of the Special Enrollment Period if you miss out on the two months. You will need:

  • Information about your income and household
  • Social Security Number
  • A mailing address

Private Health Insurance 

The private health insurance option is open to all health workers. Some companies customize the cover for starter locum tenens needs at affordable rates. You only need to analyze the health plans from insurance companies' websites and apply. Compare the benefits and costs and go for a cover that best fits you and your family. You can also enquire about charges from an independent insurance agent. 

Health Care Sharing Ministries

Health care sharing ministries' cover comes from organizations such as churches. They pull resources to fund major healthcare costs for its members. They are not regulated by the Affordable Care Act and don't cover pre-existing health conditions. Their package is ideal for locum tenens with no dependents, despite the restrictions on what they can pay for you. 

COBRA Health Insurance 

Sometimes, you can be laid off from a full-time job and decide to look for freelance gigs as you search for another job. You can keep your previous employer's health cover you had for between 18 and 36 months with COBRA health insurance. You can also opt for short-term insurance of up to three months, which you may sign up for outside the usual enrollment period. This is an excellent way to keep your locum tenens license up-to-date.


Working as locum tenens doesn't mean you give up health insurance. Many plans can be customized to suit your needs without going for generic programs on your employer's list of offers. 

Ready to learn more about locum tenens? Contact Med X, and one of our representatives will reach out to you!