Survey: How will Obamacare impact freelancers?

As Obamacare begins to roll out, I’m curious what impact it might have on freelancers—and just as importantly, how freelancers have fared on the individual health insurance market over the past few years.

Here’s a quick snapshot of how my monthly health insurance premiums have increased over the years:
My current rates would almost certainly be even higher today (say, $700-750) if I hadn’t managed to abandon this sinking ship in late 2011 and jump onto a spouse’s employer insurance—not permanently, but at least for 1 or 2 years of respite.

I just looked up what my monthly rates will be for individual insurance purchased under Obamacare (Covered California), and was pleasantly surprised at how much lower they would be:

$281-$349/month – Bronze plans (41 to 52% less than my 2011 rates)

$340-$412/month – Silver plans (30 to 42% less than my 2011 rates)

$401-$487/month – Gold plans (17 to 32% less than my 2011 rates)

(For what it’s worth, the Silver plans are most similar to what I purchased on my own until 2011. These rates reflect no subsidies or “premium assistance.”)

So that’s what I’m seeing—how about you?

I’ve put together a survey and would love to hear from those of you who are self-insured, about how your insurance rates have evolved over the last few years — and what kind of rates you might see under the Affordable Care Act.

I want to hear from everyone who can provide decent data, regardless of whether your insurance costs will rise, fall, or remain unchanged under the law healthcare law.

Click here to take the survey!

For those who are game, the survey might be a good little bit of work — namely, looking up your past rates and checking out what they’d be under plans purchased through Obamacare — but it’s valuable information, and I’ll share with everyone once the results are in.

Happy clicking!


Photo by

Douglas Fox is a freelance writer based in Northern California. He has written for Discover, National Geographic, Popular Mechanics, Scientific American, Esquire, New Scientist, The Christian Science Monitor and other publications. His stories have garnered national awards from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2009) and from the American Society of Journalists and Authors (2011), and have appeared in The Best American Science Writing (2012), The Best Technology Writing (2010) and The Best American Science & Nature Writing (2009).

4 responses to “Survey: How will Obamacare impact freelancers?”

  1. Chris Rauber

    Hi Douglas,
    I’m Paul Rauber’s brother. I write about biz side of health for SF Business Times. Wondering if you could tell me a bit more about your experiences with individual coverage prior to ACA and what you plan to do in ACA/Covered California??

    Chris R.

  2. Susan Kraemer

    I am not affected myself as I moved to a public option country in 2011, but in getting better insurance for my son still in the US, I was astounded to find how reasonable the rates were on the MNSure exchange for example.

    We switched his coverage from the U of MN group plan Blue Cross offers students that had a $265 premium and copays and coinsurance that bring his yearly total up to nearly $6,000 out of pocket for us.

    On the Minnesota exchange, even with NO subsidy, he will save about $3,000 a year.

    PreferredOne platinum+ plan: the premium is $187 and the deductible is $1,000 – after that EVERY possible thing is 100% covered so total annual out of pocket can not exceed $3,224.

    This 100% coverage after that means that a huge hassle factor is removed too, because he used to freak out from the endless communiques from insurers that never are quite understandable – about whether this or that thing is/or was covered by them – and whether they are going to pay/or have paid – or is this a bill they are saying he owes the provider???

    (Insurers have so mastered obscure language that even when they wish to communicate, their language is impossible to decipher!)

  3. Hillary Rosner

    Maybe I should move to California… because here in Colorado, Obamacare is going to seriously screw my family. We already pay exorbitant rates–$670 a month for a family of three with a $6,000 deductible. That has doubled in the past year. My husband and I were paying just $360 for the same plan a year ago, and then Cigna raised the rate a huge amount out of nowhere back in February, I think. So then we were paying $450, until our son was born in August, and they’re charging us more than $200 extra just to add one little baby.

    So that’s already kind of outrageous. But under Obamacare, that same Cigna plan will cost nearly $1200. And every other plan that’s available with the same $6000 deductible costs more than we’re currently paying.

    I’m not sure why freelancers in other states seem to be doing better under the ACA while here in CO it’s definitely making things worse–at least for me.

  4. Kat Friedrich

    The Massachusetts website isn’t working, so I won’t know until the site is operational.

Leave a Reply