It’s that time of year again — the autumn leaves are spectacular…and come November, it’ll be time to figure out your healthcare coverage as a freelance writer.
It’s healthcare plan renewal/signup time, or — if you’re just contemplating making the leap into freelancing (and don’t live in a country with national healthcare) — time to figure out how to keep your family protected as leave the corporate world.
I’ve heard from more than one writer in recent weeks who’s hesitant to go freelance because the healthcare issue makes them nervous. And hearing that makes me sad.
Don’t let this be the issue that stops you from pursuing your freelance writing dream! This. Is. Solvable. Especially now, in the U.S., where I’m thrilled that there are more options than there were when I started my most recent freelance stint in 2005. (If you’re elsewhere, check out these emerging alternatives that help freelancers limit their risks if they become ill.)
Here’s a rundown of the ways you can get healthcare coverage as a freelancer — and some of my personal experiences with them):
Are you scared to take the plunge into freelance writing, because it feels too risky?
After all, there’s no regular paycheck coming in. No paid sick time. And for those of us in the US and some other places, no healthcare unless we buy some on our own.
I meet a lot of would-be freelance writers who’re still slogging away at the day job they hate, mainly because they worry about whether they’ll be able to pay the bills as a freelancer.
As the world shifts increasingly over to a freelance/solopreneur economy — we’re expected to make up half the economy by 2020 — it would be nice if our governments did more to support independent contractors. But so far, not a lot progress on that front, as Elaine Pofeldt recently pointed out on Forbes.
Fortunately, there are a few emerging ideas that may help make freelancing less risky:
When you start a new freelance writing gig, are you full of hope? I know I am.
This gig is going to be great. We’re sure of it.
This is the sample that’s going to really take the portfolio up a notch. It’s a game-changer. Exciting!
Then, things start to happen, and often, writers go straight down the emotional drain.
For instance, take this recent comment from a Freelance Writers Den member (I’ve condensed it here):