Don't Shoot in the Dark
A Risk Management Guide for Self-Employed Photographers and Videographers

Chapter 4: Protecting Your Photography / Videography Business
Part 2: Keeping Insurance Rates Low: Risk Management for Freelance Photographers and Videographers
How the Affordable Care Act Affects Freelance Photographers and Videographers

Most Americans — even the self-employed — are required to carry health coverage, starting in 2014. Like any individual, you can buy healthcare coverage on the Individuals and Families Marketplace New browser window icon., which is now open for business. Depending on your situation, you may have options. Take a look at our breakdown below:

  • Moonlighters. Some professional photographers and videographers run their business on the side. If you have a day job that offers insurance benefits, you can stay on that plan. Depending on your family's size, your annual income, and the state you live in, you may qualify for less-expensive insurance on the marketplace. To learn more about your options, read the "What If I Have Job-Based Insurance? New browser window icon." page of the government's healthcare website New browser window icon..
  • Spouses. If you currently receive health benefits through your spouse's employer-based insurance, you can stay on that plan. But, again, depending on your situation, you may want to see what's available in the Marketplace.
  • Individual policy owners. If you currently carry your own individual health insurance policy, you can keep that coverage or switch to a new one from the Marketplace.
  • You don't have health insurance. If you do not currently have health insurance, it's likely that you'll be subject to the "individual mandate" that requires you carry coverage.

To learn more about the individual mandate, read the Individual Mandate Fact Sheet [PDF] New browser window icon. produced by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island New browser window icon..

If you choose to forego health insurance coverage, you will be…

  • Subject to a fine. This fine is based on your household income and increases each year.
  • Responsible for healthcare costs. If you do need medical attention, you won't be able to get any help paying for related expenses.

To learn more, read the "What If Someone Doesn't Have Health Coverage? New browser window icon." article on the federal government's healthcare website.

The cost of your health insurance depends on a variety of factors, including…

  • Your annual income.
  • Your family size.
  • Your state of residence.
  • Whether or not you smoke.

Many people will be eligible to receive government subsidies to make their insurance costs more affordable. These subsidies come in the form of federal tax credits. People whose annual income falls between 100 percent and 400 percent of the poverty line will qualify for subsidies.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation's (KFF) "Quantifying Tax Credits for People Now Buying Insurance on Their Own New browser window icon." brief, a family of four that makes $94,000 a year would qualify for a subsidy. Below is a graphic from the brief that illustrates the average individual's subsidy:

Chart: Average ACA Premium Subsidy for People Now Buying Insurance in the Individual Market

To estimate your subsidy, use the KFF's subsidy calculator New browser window icon..

Next: How Freelancers Can Save Money on Their Quarterly Tax Returns

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