Jump to Main Content
USA flagAn Official Website of the United States Government
Health Care

Blogs.Health Care

Register

Self-Employed? Learn What the Affordable Care Act Means for You

Comment Count:
8

Comments welcome on this page. See Rules of Conduct.

Self-Employed? Learn What the Affordable Care Act Means for You

By Meredith K. Olafson, SBA Official
Published: March 19, 2013 Updated: March 19, 2013

Many of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act affect small businesses differently depending on their size.  For self-employed individuals in particular, there are new options for health coverage and other changes under the health care law that will directly affect you in the coming months.

New Options for Health Coverage through the Affordable Insurance Marketplaces

Under the Affordable Care Act, self-employed business owners now have more options than ever to find affordable health coverage.  Beginning in January 2014, self-employed individuals and other consumers will be able to purchase their insurance through new Health Insurance Marketplaces (also referred to as Exchanges).

Health insurance plans offered in these new insurance Marketplaces will offer a core package of benefits, known as “essential health benefits.”  The plans may vary according to the percentage of costs the health plan covers, or “metal levels”: 60 percent for a bronze plan, 70 percent for a silver plan, 80 percent for a gold plan, and 90 percent coverage for a platinum plan. Issuers may offer catastrophic-only coverage, which includes free prevention and several primary care visits, to young adults among others.

Self-employed individuals may qualify for premium tax credits and cost-sharing reductions on a sliding scale, based on income, to purchase coverage in the Marketplace. Increased access to quality, affordable health care will make it easier for potential entrepreneurs to go out on their own instead of staying at larger firms simply because of "job lock” or the lack of access to affordable insurance outside of work.

For more information on individual tax credits offered through the Marketplaces and to stay connected with the latest information visit healthcare.gov.

Find Insurance Options Today

To find an insurance plan that meets your needs today, check out the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) insurance finder tool.  By answering just a few simple questions, you’ll be able to locate health insurance plans in your state and explore whether there are local facilities in your area that provide free or reduced-cost health care. 

To learn more about health insurance available to self-employed individuals, visit healthcare.gov.  

New Insurance Coverage Requirements: Individual Shared Responsibility

The Individual Shared Responsibility provisions of the Affordable Care Act call for each individual, beginning in 2014, to have:

  • Basic health insurance coverage (known as minimum essential coverage) for each month,
  • Qualify for an exemption, or
  • Make an Individual Shared Responsibility payment when filing a federal income tax return starting in 2015.  

Minimum essential coverage includes employer-sponsored coverage, coverage purchased in the individual market, Medicare, Medicaid coverage, Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) coverage, veteran’s health coverage, TRICARE, and others as identified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Individuals will not have to make a payment under the Individual Shared Responsibility provisions if:

  • Coverage is unaffordable
  • They spend less than three consecutive months without coverage
  • They qualify for an exemption for several other reasons, including hardship and religious beliefs.

To learn what  Individual Shared Responsibility requirements and exemptions may apply to you, refer to this Fact Sheet from the U.S. Department of Treasury, as well as these helpful Q&As from the Internal Revenue Service, or consult with your tax professional.

For more information about other provisions affecting self-employed business owners under the Affordable Care Act, go to sba.gov/healthcare.

About the Author:

Meredith K. Olafson

SBA Official

Meredith K. Olafson is Senior Policy Advisor for the U.S. Small Business Administration where she oversees the agency's education and outreach efforts around health care and the Affordable Care Act.

Comments:

We are self employed apartment owners. Because of depreciation we have very low income (under $25K) Under ACA will we have to go on Medicaid? We've always purchased our own high deductible health insurance. Looking forward to an answer. Thanks.
I have the exact same question. Farm income of almost zero and household expenses are not deducted as a business expense but do come out of farm receipts. So much farm/self employed income is canceled by depreciation that the farm income is still low. I would love to know which IRS tax line on which IRS form is the proper entry into the application on the Federal Health Exchange. I didn't think adults with assets over a few thousand in worth qualified for medicaid. Does anyone have any referenceslinks to official IRS information? I could not find what I wanted in the Farmer's Tax Guide
Very interesting offer for self employed, who were earlier deprived of any health insurance but now this new facility will help them in emergency situations. This kind of more policies should come in the market to encourage other section of the people to take up health insurance policies to make life little smoother. To gain better understanding of handling finance, pls visit us on This post was edited to remove a link. Please review our Community Best Practices for more information about how best to participate in our online discussions. Thank you.  
If you are self-employed with no employees, your options depend upon whether your state allows self-employed people to buy small employer health insurance. If not, you just have the same options as someone buying an individual health insurance plan. Find available options by visiting your State Department of Insurance with this handy map: This post was edited to remove a link. Please review our Community Best Practices (http://www.sba.gov/community) for more information about how best to participate in our online discussions. Thank you.
The premium tax credits are available only to those with income between 100 percent and 400 percent of the federal poverty level. In 2013, this means income between $11,490 and $45,906 for an individual, and between $23,550 and $94,200 for a family of four. And remember that there is a deduction for medical and qualified long-term care insurance of self-employed persons.  This post was edited to remove a link. Please review our Community Best Practices (http://www.sba.gov/community) for more information about how best to participate in our online discussions. Thank you. for more details.
I can't wait until this is implemented. My current policy options are terrible. At my joe Von waldner bail bonds in Orlando Florida, we have 4 bail bondsmen who can't afford decent coverage. This post was edited to remove a link. Please review our Community Best Practices (http://www.sba.gov/community) for more information about how best to participate in our online discussions. Thank you.
Thanks for the information.
Thanks for sharing. its good informations This post was edited to remove a link. Please review our Community Best Practices (http://www.sba.gov/community) for more information about how best to participate in our online discussions. Thank you.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to leave comments. If you already have an SBA.gov account, Log In to leave your comment.

New users, Register for a new account and join the conversation today!