Updated: Mar 24, 2020
If you're self-employed, you can use the individual Health Insurance Marketplace to enroll in flexible, high-quality health coverage that works well for people who run their own businesses.
You’re considered self-employed if you have a business that takes in income but doesn’t have any employees.
You can enroll through the Marketplace if you’re a freelancer, consultant, independent contractor, or other self-employed worker who doesn’t have any employees. If your business has even one employee (other than yourself, a spouse, family member, or owner), you may be able to use the SHOP Marketplace for small businesses to offer coverage to yourself and your employees. See "How do I know if I’m self-employed or a small employer?" to learn more.
Coverage options for the self-employed
When you fill out a Marketplace application, you’ll find out if you qualify for premium tax credits and other savings on a health plan. This will be based on your income and household size.
You’ll also find out if you qualify for free or low-cost coverage through the Medicaid and CHIP programs in your state. This will depend on your income, household size, and other factors.
Do a quick check to see if your expected income is in the range to save.
In the Marketplace you can choose from several categories of coverage, from plans with low premiums that mainly protect you in worst-case scenarios to plans where you’ll pay more each month but less out-of-pocket when you get health care services.
Self-employment income and Marketplace savings
When you fill out a Health Insurance Marketplace application, you’ll have to estimate your net self-employment income. Marketplace savings are based on your estimated net income for the year you’re getting coverage, not last year’s income.
When you’re self-employed, it can be hard to estimate your income for the coming months or year. Learn how to estimate your income if you’re self-employed.
More answers: Health coverage if you're self-employed
How do I know if I’m self-employed or a small employer?
If you run a business that produces income and has no employees, you’re considered self-employed. You can buy health coverage through the individual Health Insurance Marketplace.
You’re not considered an employer only because you hire independent contractors to do some work."Employees" are generally workers whose income you report on a W-2 form at the end of the year.