Health insurance for gig drivers: everything you need to know

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Yes, you read it right… we mentioned money for health expenses and more funds to cover your future. The reality is, gig workers don’t have the umbrella of a corporation providing us with health insurance, among other benefits. We have to plan ahead, and many of us don’t wind up with a whole lot set aside for retirement. 

Sure, you might get another job someday, but what are the chances that that company will cover you with all the benefits you need? And even if you’re one of the lucky ones, and that new employer offers all the bells and whistles, right now, you’re a gig worker. It’s on you to think about how you can acquire adequate coverage for your health costs, and, ideally, start working on building that retirement fund.

Luckily, you have options for making all of the above a reality. 

The goal of this post is to make this (sometimes confusing) process easier, and help you get coverage now, and save for later. 

Here’s what we’ll discuss:

  • Health insurance and gig driving
  • How to save for health emergencies
  • Starship: the HSA option with the true essentials
  • Covering health expenses and securing your future with a health savings account from Starship

Health insurance and gig driving

Even if your rideshare or delivery company doesn’t offer health insurance, it is possible to get a great plan. And there are many available with premiums that are based on factors like your health risks and how much money you make.

Depending on your particular situation, coverage may be well-priced, or it could consume a large chunk of your income. It’s also important to note that it might not cover everything… which is why studying up on the basics of health insurance, and keeping all options open for extra coverage, is crucial. 

How to save for health emergencies

Many independent contractors look for the least expensive coverage. In order to get those low premium payments, they must often choose plans with high deductibles. 

Having a high deductible health plan (HDHP) means that you’ll have to spend quite a bit of your own money toward your pre-determined deductible before your insurance company pays any money toward a claim. In the event of a major health problem, this type of insurance comes in handy. But when something not-so-serious occurs, you’ll end up paying for it out of pocket.

There are some big benefits to opting for an HDHP, though. Enter: the health savings account (HSA). An HSA lets you set aside money pre-tax to be used for health-related expenses. An HDHP that qualifies for an HSA will mean that your deductible is at least $1,400 for individuals, and $2,800 if you have a family health plan. Your plan must also have a maximum annual out-of-pocket expense of $6,900 for individuals and $13,800 for families.

According to the IRS, HSA qualified HDHPs must have:

  • A higher deductible than typical individual health insurance plans.
  • A maximum limit on the annual deductible and medical expense costs, including copays and other items.
  • No insurance coverage until the deductible is met, except for the following expenses:
    • Health insurance premiums
    • Long-term care premiums
    • Dental expenses
    • Vision expenses

If your deductible and out-of-pocket expenses are at least that high, then you can open an HSA. For 2021, individuals can make an annual contribution of up to $3,600, and those carrying insurance for the whole family can put aside up to $7,200 in their HSA! Then, at any time after that, if you need money to cover health-care costs, you can take it out of the HSA without penalty or taxes… as long as you follow a few more rules.These amounts change from year to year so be sure to check your plan!

HSA 101

The money in your HSA can be used only for qualified medical expenses. These expenses, as defined by the IRS, include medical care, vision and dental care, copays and deductibles, prescription drugs, and payments for long-term care services, among others.

If you don’t use all (or any) of the money in your HSA in a given year, that money can stay in your account and “roll over” for the next year. No taxes will be charged on that money unless you contribute more than the annual maximum, or withdraw it for any other purpose than the aforementioned identified medical expenses before age 65. And yes, you can still contribute up to the maximum amount annually. To find out what that amount is each year, see this IRS publication.

Starship: the best HSA for gig workers 

Choosing the right HSA is important. You want to establish a few essential pieces of your HSA puzzle before signing up with just anyone. It’s wise to make sure that: 

  1. Your money will be invested wisely and create gains, and
  2. You can get access to your money quickly, and when you need it.

Fortunately, there’s an HSA out there that gives you these two essentials and much more. 

Enter: Starship. They’re the most modern HSA on the market, and every one of their services fits in the palm of your hand.

As an app, Starship is always available to you. They’ve solved one of the greatest and most long standing HSA pain points by offering you flexible and constant access to your HSA funds. 

When you’re sick or injured, you won’t want to jump through several hoops just to gain access to the money you put aside for health emergencies. Starship has a solution for you: The Starship Visa® card.

The Starship Visa® card allows you to pay for HSA-eligible expenses on the spot. Tap or swipe your card at the point of sale or service, and you’re done. There’s no need to shift the money from the HSA to another account, or wait for transfers to clear. 

As you can see, Starship has combined up-to-the-nanosecond innovation and hyper-savvy intuition to supply exactly what drivers need when it comes to an HSA. Now you can have a health savings account that can increase in size, and be available for you to use as quickly and easily as you’d swipe any debit or credit card.

Cover health expenses and secure your future – with Starship

With Starship, you can rest assured that your health expenses are covered, even without the umbrella of a huge corporation to give you benefits. By setting aside a small portion of your gig driving income in an HSA, you’ll have a nest egg that you can either put toward the costs of the high deductible on your health plan, pay towards extra medical costs… or save for later when you retire.

Once you turn 65, your HSA is treated like a traditional IRA. That is to say: if you withdraw money for non-medical expenses, withdrawals are subject to income tax. That’s true for a traditional IRA as well. And that’s exactly how it works if you’re 65+ and using the account for non-medical expenses. For more information on how this works, check out this blog.

As you can see, the combination of a high-deductible, low-premium health-care plan coupled with an HSA can be a great way to save for health emergencies and invest in your retirement. Cover the expenses that arise from health emergencies with Starship, and you’ll be set up for a “stellar” future! 

Starship Investing

Starship is the first HSA option to offer integrated investing. That means the money you set aside is invested on your behalf, and you control it all directly from the Starship app.

What’s more, Starship goes all-out with high-tech “robo-advisors” that will choose wise investments for you. You won’t have to struggle with conflicting reports about the hot stocks, crypto, or commodities of the week, or lose sleep worrying about watching your investments’ every move. 

The robo-advisors pick investments for you using AI, and base choices on your preferences, such as whether you want to be bullish or bearish with your investments. They’ll also mind the store, making sure you’re staying in the right investments, and pulling out of the ones that don’t work for you.

Over time, if you decide you’d rather be in charge of choosing your own investments, you can switch your account to put those decisions under your complete control. And of course, if you think you’re going to need to use the money in your HSA in the immediate future, you won’t want to invest it right away, and you don’t have to.

With all this state-of-the-art investment assistance and the convenience of your own Starship VISA® card, Starship covers the two most important parts of getting the right HSA: sound investments and convenience.

Sign up with Starship today, and start saving for your healthcare expenses and investing in a nest egg that will be there waiting for you when you hang up your car keys and move on from gig driving. 

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