Graphic Designers: Have You Thought About Health Insurance?

Brian
August 8, 2010

As a graphic designer you have the freedom to choose your work environment, and today more and more designers are choosing the flexibility and income potential of freelance work over the relative stability of agency employment. The perks of the freelance lifestyle are innumerable, but there is one obstacle that many freelancers struggle to overcome: obtaining adequate health insurance coverage.

Have you thought about health insurance? Health insurance for freelance graphic designers can be difficult to afford, since you do not have an employer to negotiate group rates or cover part of the premium for you. And health insurance is cost-prohibitive, especially for freelancers who have a family to support. Monthly premiums for a family of four can easily rival your mortgage payment. That being said, there are several avenues you can and should explore to acquire health insurance. Here are a few resources that can help you on your search for affordable, quality medical insurance. Graphic Artists Guild – Membership in this union gives you access to health insurance through the United States Federation of Small Businesses. Freelancer's Union - The Freelancer's Union is similar to the Graphic Artists Guild in that it provides access to health insurance plans through partnerships with insurers. National Association for the Self-Employed (http://www.nase.org/Home.aspx) – Another membership association that can help you save money on health care insurance by volume deals with insurance companies. Media Bistro Avant Guild - Membership in Media Bistro's Avant Guild grants you access to discount health insurance plans for freelancers. Chambers of Commerce – Check with your local Chamber of Commerce to see whether membership entitles you to discount health insurance plans. In many cases it does. Other State and local resources – Many states have health insurance subsidized plans based on income. Private insurers/brokers – Well-qualified brokers can help you get the best deal on health care insurance for your situation, and more and more private insurance companies have developed programs that cater to freelancers. Call around and compare the benefits and costs of several programs before you decide. A final note All health insurance plans are not created equal. You need to ask your provider questions to ensure that you're getting the best coverage for your money. Shop around and compare. And if high monthly premiums have you down, at least take comfort in this: in most cases, you can deduct half of your annual premium from your federal taxes. For a freelancer with a family of four and an $800 monthly premium, that amounts to nearly $5,000 annually in tax write-offs.

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About Brian Morris

Brian Morris serves in various capacities as a freelance writer, content developer and public relations specialist for growing small businesses. When he’s not writing, he can be found on the racquetball court - usually getting his tail kicked by guys 20 years older.

Anonymous's picture
January 07, 2016 03:21 am #

[...] When you are a freelancer, trying to navigate the health care system and get health insurance coverage for you and your family is enough to make you sick. Well step into our office … PsPrint blogger Brian shares some organizations that help freelancers get medical coverage in his blog post, “Graphic Designers: Have You Thought About Health Insurance?” [...]

Anonymous's picture
January 07, 2016 03:21 am #

[...] I worked full time as a music manager at Barnes & Noble. I worked part way through my first year of grad school to six years after getting my MFA. It was a long time before the day job went away – partially because by working for Barnes & Noble I could get health insurance, and when you’re a self-employed artist, getting insurance is one of the most difficult things. [...]

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