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Why you should have health insurance if you’re self-employed

We understand that having health insurance can feel like an added expense when you are self-employed. Not to mention that with so many responsibilities to keep track of, you may not have time to shop for a health insurance plan. However, the truth is that your health is your most valuable asset and should be a top priority. Insurance with give you access to services that help you get and stay healthy, like annual check-ups and preventive screenings—but the perks of having coverage don’t end there.

Five benefits of having health insurance when you are self-employed

1 – Potential tax deduction and financial aid

On the fence about health insurance? It is more affordable than you may think. There are two types of financial assistance for health insurance that you might qualify for. One is an Advance Premium Tax Credit (APTC), which helps with the monthly premium cost. The other is a Cost Share Reduction (CSR), which lowers the cost at the point of service. For example, lowering a copay when you see the doctor. Learn if you qualify for either of these using our tax calculator.

Also, depending on the coverage you for which you qualify, you could be eligible to deduct 100 percent of your health insurance premiums from your taxes. These can be deducted for yourself, your spouse, and your dependents. This special deduction applies to your federal, state, and local income taxes. It does not apply to your self-employment taxes.[1]

2 – Essential health benefits

Affordable Care Act (ACA) compliant plans will provide coverage for 10 essential health benefits. These services may include vaccinations and screenings, among other things.* Being in the know can help you understand the actions you should take to maintain your health and well-being.

3 – Free wellness programs

Some health insurance providers, such as UPMC Health Plan, offer wellness programs at no additional cost. These can help you quit smoking, lose weight, eat healthy, reduce stress, and more. Improving your health can help you have more energy and better focus. It can even help you be more productive during the day and sleep better at night.

4 – Telemedicine and digital tools

Your access to health care should keep up with your fast-paced world. When you shop for health insurance, ask about telemedicine services and apps, like UPMC AnywhereCare. With this service, you can get access to care anytime, anywhere—24/7—right from your smartphone, tablet, or computer.** You can use this service to seek treatment for a variety of nonemergency conditions, and your visit will be covered at 100 percent.*** Providers can also send prescriptions to your preferred pharmacy (when appropriate). Services like this are flexible and convenient, regardless of where life takes you.

5 – Direct access to an outstanding network of doctors and hospitals

To be your best at work, you need to be at your best health. Unfortunately, there may be times when you need urgent or emergency care. If you don’t have health insurance, receiving care can be extremely costly. That’s why it’s critical to have coverage through a plan with a robust network. That way, you can get the care you need, no matter where you work, live, or travel.

Learn more

We can help you understand your options and choose the best coverage for yourself and your family. You can call 833-516-3239 (TTY: 711), visit us at your local UPMC Health Plan Connect Center, or find additional resources on our website. Starting November 1, you can start to shop on the UPMC Health Plan Marketplace.


*Not all preventive services are recommended for every patient every year. Talk to your doctor about the preventive services that are recommended for you. For a list of preventive services and guidelines, visit

**UPMC Health Plan members located in Pennsylvania at the time of the service will have a virtual visit with a UPMC-employed provider. UPMC Health Plan members located outside of Pennsylvania at the time of service will receive care from a provider employed or contracted by Online Care Network II PC.

***Only the Virtual Urgent Care visit with the provider will be covered at 100 percent. Prescription drug and other costs related to the visit or recommended by the provider will not be included in the Virtual Urgent Care visit coverage and will be your responsibility. If you are enrolled in the UPMC Advantage Silver HSA $2,800/20% plan, UPMC AnywhereCare Virtual Urgent Care visits will be covered at 100 percent after you meet your deductible. This information is not a complete description of benefits. Contact the plan for more information. Limitations, copayments, and restrictions may apply.

[1] 1. Fishman, Stephen. (2019). Retrieved Oct. 2019 from NOLO: