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5 things every self-employed worker should know about health insurance

3-minute read

Catriona Smith

15 February 2021

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Taking time off when you’re self-employed or running your own business is likely to cost you money, so looking after your health and having quicker access to care when you need it is essential.

If you’re considering buying health insurance, this article outlines specific information to help you select a plan that best suits you and your business.

So, what do you need to know about health insurance?

If you’re self-employed or a small business owner, you won’t benefit from company health insurance schemes or paid holiday and sick days – so this is something you’ll probably want to plan ahead for.

What’s more, in our recent mental health and wellbeing survey, we found that 37 per cent of small business owners have felt unable to take a break in the past 12 months – so burning out is a real possibility.

Health insurance can help you feel at ease, giving you quicker access to care and helping you avoid long periods off work. Read on for five key things to consider when shopping for a healthcare plan.

1. Get quicker access to health professionals

Self-employed health insurance doesn’t usually include cover for sick days, but you’ll get faster access to specialists to help get you back to work sooner.

It’s also a good idea to have a cash reserve just in case you need to take time off. For more guidance, financial coach Selina Flavius shares her tips for managing your financial wellbeing.

Depending on the structure of your business, you may be eligible for statutory sick pay – read our article on self-employed sick pay for more details.

It’s also worth checking whether you’re eligible for small business grants or certain benefits for self-employed people.

2. Tailored policies can help you save money

You may be able to select different levels of cover depending on what’s best for you and your business, from stress support to hospital in-patient treatment.

Being able to tailor your policy means you can just pay for the cover you need. For example, you might like to include massage and physiotherapy if you often experience back pain as a result of the type of work you do. Or you could choose a cover that extends to your family or employees in your business to give you greater peace of mind.

3. Choose your cover, from diagnosis to treatment

With self-employed health insurance, you can buy a plan that includes hospital treatment and access to specialists, surgeons, room, dressings, and medication. You’ll also be able to make unlimited GP appointments, 24 hours a day.

Or you might prefer to simply pay for support and diagnostic services, and then seek treatment on the NHS.

You won’t be able to claim for everything, so make sure you’re familiar with the conditions excluded in your policy before you take out a plan.

For example, if you have a pre-existing medical condition you might not be able to claim for physiotherapy, diagnosis, or treatment. And care and treatment of cancer and normal pregnancy are sometimes not covered by health insurance as this is coordinated by the NHS. This is the same for Covid-19.

4. Check how much treatment you’re covered for

How much you can claim when it comes to treatment for an illness isn’t likely to be capped. But there may be a limit on how many times you can use a service, for example how many counselling sessions you can access.

5. Chronic conditions might not be covered

A chronic illness is a health condition that requires long-term treatment, and may not have a cure. Healthcare plans are unlikely to cover treatment for conditions that become chronic, so it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with what’s included, whether there are limitations, and if you’re particularly at risk of developing an excluded condition.

Finally, see if you’re eligible

If you’re looking into health insurance either as a self-employed person or a small business owner, you’ll need to be registered as self-employed with HMRC or on Companies House.

Do you have a healthcare insurance plan? Let us know in the comments.

Looking for self-employed health insurance?

With Simply Business you can find a single self employed health insurance policy combining valuable covers and services you can use. Whether you want to be covered for stress support, physiotherapy, or in-patient hospital treatment, we've got the right health cover to suit your needs.

Start your quote

We create this content for general information purposes and it should not be taken as advice. Always take professional advice. Read our full disclaimer

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