Since insurance, in general, is a complicated subject to fully comprehend unless you are an insurance broker or experienced agent. We decided to review some of the issues facing Uber drivers when choosing, using and switching between health insurance policies. In fact, health insurance is a real major issue for drivers since you are working in a confined environment, physically challenged daily, you have no idea what diseases you are being bottled up within your car. Winter exaggerates this issue with heating and closed windows. Accidents, collisions and just being on the road, even with ride-share friendly insurance, does not cover you for all those medical needs you hope you will never need but if you are not insured will curse the day you saved up on premiums to buy more Big Macs.
Know your expenses
One of the biggest issues with Uber drivers is unclaimed expenses that can be used to reduce the taxable income. What has this got to do with insurance? Everything, every US citizen can get subsidized health insurance. The basic model is if you make no more than $45,960 as an individual or $94,200 as a family of four you will qualify for a full subsidy.
What most drivers don't realize is that most of their miles are tax deductible, all they need do is make a monthly itemized list of every mile driven, using Uber's destination filter and a good mile tracking program, a driver can make just about every trip a tax-deductible journey. Drivers can also and should include all direct and indirect driving expenditure to assure a maximum tax deduction.
Once a driver would deduct all these expenses from their income, their gross would lower considerably, for instance, a $35,000 gross annual income, when all expenses are deducted could go as low as $27,000. This gives the driver a $1,022 subsidy that is used to reduce insurance costs. In the above case, it means a reduction of $85.61 per month, which is around 44% less than he would party. In some instances, reductions can lead to a 70% reduction in health insurance fees.
An interesting fact is that about 85% of all Uber drivers don't claim insurance reductions.
Compare Insurance Options
A lot of Uber drivers do not compare the various health insurance options and as such do not do any research how health insurance prices change and will change due to regulatory issues. These changes also occur due to movements in deductibles, out of pocket spending and fluctuations in physical pricing and procedures and drugs included in the policies basket of health.
Cheap is not the best
When choosing the right plan, don't take the cheapest option, sometimes that option will cost the driver much more in the long run, especially when dealing with health basket coverage. One major issue with these policies are the deductibles and the weird medical conditions that are covered. Deductibles should not bankrupt you and if you look at the procedures covered, do you (a 44-year-old male) need breast augmentation in Mexico? Check every detail and make sure you are covered completely for your medical needs. This means if you are susceptible to certain medical conditions and not to others, such as being Asian so you won't likely get Sickle Cell Anemia, or you don't want a skinny dip in the Amazon so that weird amoeba will not attack your privates.
Use the free care
A loto plans offer many interesting features that can be used on a monthly basis. Thes can include free cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure screening as well as diet and nutrition counseling. Some policies offer free mental health screening too, which is always fun to take even if you might not need it. If you are a smoker or drinker, some policies offer free counseling to stop bad habits that include smoking, drinking and more. Some of the more interesting options offered are STDs and HIV screening and counseling. Colonoscopies and cervical cancer screening, mammography, and immunizations such as seasonal flu inoculations and Hepatitis A and B and so much more.
Check your policies free services and use them wisely, but use them.
Do not go uninsured
Some drivers don't have health insurance, in fact, around 35% are uninsured, and that is not worth the risk. If you do not have health insurance, the government will fine you around $695 per adult and $347.50 per child, or 2.5% of your income, the greater of the two. Therefore, take out a health insurance plan as soon as possible and don't take the risk of both being uncovered and being fined.
Another downside of being uninsured is the cost of medical care; even when insured the costs can add up for items not covered, imagine being in an accident and ending up with a perforated spleen due to the pressure of the seatbelt on your abdomen. You will be in the hospital for over three weeks, and you will have to pay for every cent of it, or just die in the gutter when the hospital refuses to admit you since you have no insurance. (just kidding)
If you want to find the best health coverage solution, goto Stride health, they specialize in ride-share drivers needs and can discuss a tailor-made or off the shelf plan that will best suit your needs. They also help the customer find physicians that are in their network of professional health providers as well as getting you discounts in over 70,000 drug stores around the US.
Get a CPA or use QuickNotes Self-Employed and make sure your expense are all accounted for tax purposes. Maximize your tax deduction and get the best health insurance subsidy you can find.