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Busting 5 Myths About Healthshares

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healthcare healthshares What are healthshares and how do they benefit freelancers’ healthcare concerns? Walk into any Starbucks and along with the shuffling of paper cups and the din of barely hushed conversation, you’ll always hear the pitter-patter of laptop keys. Though quiet, those keystrokes represent the resounding boom of the freelance economy’s growth. Every year, millions of workers walk out of the front door of office buildings with boxes full of their desktop baubles, a few framed photos, and their “World’s Best Boss” (where applicable) coffee mug for a life untethered and independent. In fact, 57 million U.S. workers — who represent 35 percent of the workforce — now freelance , according to the Freelancing in America Survey conducted by the Freelancers Union and Upwork. Even as these newly freed workers soar with optimism and possibility , they are grounded in some real concerns. Chief among these concerns is how to pay for healthcare. In order to make the best decision in your life as a freelancer, here are 5 healthshare myths you need to stop believing. 1. Healthshares work just like health insurance. While healthshares and health insurance meet the same need, they go about it differently. Healthshares and health insurance both try to meet the same need — help with your medical expenses. However, they go about it in entirely different ways. With a healthshare, you join a community of people you have something in common with, like your occupation, faith, or commitment to healthy living. The community then shares certain medical expenses according to the guidelines everyone agrees to. That’s very different from ACA governed health insurance plans who have mandates on what they must cover and who they must (or must not) provide insurance to. For some, those mandates provide necessary assurances and peace of mind. For others, they are an unnecessary cost. That means that healthshares are a good alternative for some, but not necessarily a replacement for health insurance for all. Some key differences include the following: Healthshares make their own decisions about what they will share with the community and are free to deny claims for things the ACA mandates insurance companies cover. Since healthshares are more specifically tailored to their members and mitigate costs by pursuing the fair market price for medical needs, they may be significantly less expensive than insurance. Healthshares save money and time by leveraging telemedicine. Healthshares are not subject to the open enrollment period for new health insurance — you may join at any time. Healthshare plans are not always eligible for HSA reimbursement. Healthshare plans usually do not restrict who you can see for treatment and will usually reimburse expenses for seeing whichever professional you choose. Healthshares also focus on mental well-being and have benefits for behavioral health. Health insurance may provide more security for those with serious, pre-existing conditions. 2. Healthshares are “sketchy” because they are unregulated. Thankfully, healthshares are not regulated by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). That’s part of what makes them attractive […]

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