Being a full-time freelancer takes a lot of hard work, creativity, and a whole lot of grit. You can’t always rely on a steady paycheck, and you’ve got to work hard to keep the jobs coming in. At the end of the day, your success or failure depends one person: you.
But despite the challenges, more and more Americans are choosing the freedom of freelancing. A 2017 study found that over 57 million Americans freelance in some capacity — over 30% of the country’s entire workforce.¹
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Keeping your bills paid and your business afloat is enough to keep you busy from sun up to sundown. And worrying about coverage for things like accidents, dental, vision or critical illness probably isn’t on the top of your list.
But the fact that your career relies so much on your individual health is exactly why you should prioritize getting covered. In 2017, over 70 million Americans had to go to the doctor for an injury, while over 45 million had to go to the emergency room for treatment after an injury.²
A visit to the E.R. alone can run as high as $3,000 for uninsured patients. And that doesn’t factor in the cost of treatment, medication, or surgery.³
Supplemental insurance can protect you from unexpected medical bills that could make a huge dent in your freelancing career. Discover how supplemental insurance can help protect your health and savings as a freelancer.
What is supplemental insurance?
Supplemental insurance can provide coverage for medical costs that aren’t covered by your basic health insurance plan.⁴ Some of the more common types include dental, critical illness, or accident insurance.
Dental insurance generally covers a portion of the cost of a range of dental services from routine preventive care to dental surgery. Dental insurance also typically includes negotiated rates with a network of dentists, further reducing the cost of dental services. Many healthcare plans don’t include dental insurance and paying out of pocket can add up.
Accident insurance is a type of insurance that pays a cash benefit if you or a loved one has an accidental injury. It helps with the unexpected expenses that come with an accidental injury such as a broken bone, burn, or concussion that medical insurance doesn't fully cover. Multiple injury and treatment types may be covered, including ambulance charges, emergency room visits, hospital costs, surgery, crutches, physical therapy, and more. Benefits paid are based on the type of injury, severity of the injury, and type of treatments you receive. Cash benefits for supplemental accident insurance can be used in any way you choose.
Critical illness insurance is a type of insurance that pays a lump sum cash benefit if you are diagnosed with a covered critical illness, such as a heart condition, cancer, or major organ failure. Benefits paid are based on the type of illness and whether it’s a first occurrence or recurrence of the illness. The cash benefit supplements your existing medical insurance and is usable in any way you choose, including to offset deductibles or copays, travel to treatment centers, household expenses, or even for experimental treatments.
Financial protection with supplemental insurance
With so many supplemental plans to choose from, you may be wondering which is best for your lifestyle. Choosing the right option for your needs can help you money in the long run. Many dental insurance plans will cover 100% of two preventive care visits a year, including routine cleanings, exams, X-rays, topical fluoride, and sealants.
Accident insurance can help self-employed freelancers who need to get back on their feet after an accidental injury and keep their business running. Not to mention the protection it gives you from out-of-pocket medical and non-medical costs, and the extra support in the case of lost income due to an injury.
Imagine you broke a bone in a skiing accident. Costs like an airlift, ER visit, treatment, and physical therapy could end up costing you over $5,000 out-of-pocket. An accident insurance plan pays cash directly to you for those out-of-pocket expenses. It can also help pay for groceries, rent, your car payment, and more.
Supplemental health products like these can give you confidence that no matter what life throws your way, you and your business will have protection from financial ruin.
Options for lower-cost coverage
As a freelancer, you’ve got to be conscious of every extra cost. That’s why it’s so important to weigh all your options when it comes to finding lower-cost supplemental insurance coverage.
The Freelancers Union works to provide benefits (like health coverage and supplemental insurance) to people working in the “gig economy.” They also advocate for policy changes to support and protect freelancers. Guardian® is proud to be a dental insurance partner with the Freelancers Union.
The Affordable Care Act, or ACA, has made dental insurance more accessible to freelancers and the self-employed. You can shop for dental plans either on their own or packaged with basic health insurance at healthcare.gov. Depending on which state you live in, you may find different options on your state’s marketplace.
Private insurance coverage
Private supplemental insurance is another great way to shop for a plan that fits your coverage and budget needs. At Guardian Direct, you can find a one-stop shop for dental, vision, accident, and critical illness insurance.
Links to external sites are provided for your convenience in locating related information and services. Guardian, its subsidiaries, agents and employees expressly disclaim any responsibility for and do not maintain, control, recommend, or endorse third-party sites, organizations, products, or services and make no representation as to the completeness, suitability, or quality thereof.
Brought to you by The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian), New York, NY. Material discussed is meant for general illustration and/or informational purposes only and it is not to be construed as tax, legal, investment or medical advice.
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https://www.upwork.com/press/2017/10/17/freelancing-in-america-2017/ (Last accessed November 2019)
https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/injury.htm (Last accessed November 2019)
https://www.vox.com/health-care/2018/12/18/18134825/emergency-room-bills-health-care-costs-america (Last accessed November 2019)
https://www.thebalance.com/the-basics-of-a-supplemental-health-insurance-plan-2645664 (Last accessed November 2019)
https://www.bankrate.com/finance/insurance/dental-insurance-1.aspx (Last accessed November 2019)
Brought to you by The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian), New York, NY. Material discussed is meant for general illustration and/or informational purposes only and it is not to be construed as tax, legal, investment or medical advice.(exp.12/21)