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Guide

Self-employed health insurance

In this guide, we’ll explore health insurance options for self-employed people. You’ll learn about the benefits, what is covered and the tax rules.
Being your own boss gives you a huge amount of freedom. But it comes with certain risks too. If you fall ill when self-employed, you won’t receive any sick pay
and your business may suffer. This is why health insurance can be a great option. Private health insurance for self-employed people won’t pay for time off work. But it does mean you might get seen and treated faster for any illnesses.

What is self-employed health insurance and what does it cover?

Self-employed health insurance will pay for private medical treatment if you fall ill. Rather than being seen on the NHS, you can use your private health insurance. Health insurance for self-employed people covers a wide variety of medical treatments.

Different insurers will cover different treatments, so it’s important that you do your research when picking who to join. You’ll usually access things like GP appointments and hospital visits. Some insurers also include cancer cover and mental health support. Always double check your policy inclusions.

What is not covered by self-employed health insurance?

Health insurance for freelancers and self-employed people only pays for private medical treatments. It is not a form of ‘sick pay’. You won’t be able to claim money
back if you take time off to recover. If you think you’ll need cover because you can’t work, you’ll need income protection insurance. The insurer may not pay for certain conditions that could become chronic. But they could pay for something that is acute now. This includes illnesses like diabetes, arthritis or asthma. They also may not pay for any cosmetic procedures, or conditions related to deafness or blindness. It’s always worth checking with the provider to make sure your policy includes the cover you need. 

What are the benefits of self-employed health insurance?

If you’re self-employed and off work ill, you want to get treated as fast as possible. Then you can start earning money again. Private health insurance for self-employed people means no NHS waiting lists as private diagnosis is often much quicker. This means you’ll get answers faster and have greater peace of mind. 

You’ll also get access to private hospitals, which can offer more personalised care. For example, if you need to stay in the hospital overnight, you may get your own private room. Health plans for self-employed workers might also lead to advanced treatments or new medication. This could all help you return to work faster. 

Health insurance options for self-employed people

Health insurance plans for self-employed people are normally very flexible. You can agree to exclusions, which will make your premiums lower. There’s normally the opportunity to add on additional benefits too. You can normally add to or remove from your core policy by changing some of the below:

Mental Health Cover
Optical, Dental and Hearing Cover
Travel Cover

Is private health insurance tax deductible for the self-employed?

If you’re the director of a limited company or a sole trader, you can claim the insurance as a tax-deductible expense. This is only possible if the insurance is offered as a benefit to all employees. If it’s just for your personal cover, HMRC views it as a personal expense. Then you won’t be able to claim it through your business. 

If you’re a contractor working through a limited company, you must offset the costs of any premiums you pay against corporation tax. Your company must also pay Employers’ National Insurance Contributions. If you’re not sure what applies to you, it’s worth speaking to an accountant or the company you’re working for. 

Should self-employed people consider other types of insurance?

By becoming self-employed, you lose some of the benefits of being an employee. These include sick pay, company health insurance or death in service benefits. So, it’s worth considering taking out cover to protect yourself. Besides health insurance, many self-employed people take out income protection insurance. This kind of cover pays you a regular income if you’re unable to work due to illness or injury.

You might also want to consider general life insurance as a self-employed person. If you passed away, your loved ones would receive a payout to cover living costs. Critical and serious illness cover is another option. This insurance policy pays out if you have a serious illness. Different insurers have different options, but this is likely to include things like a heart attack or cancer. It can pay out a single sum for treatment, or the insurer might pay out each month while you recover. 

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