You can enroll through Pennie if you're a freelancer, consultant, independent contractor, or other self-employed worker who doesn't have any employees. You're considered self-employed if you have a business that takes in income but doesn't have any employees other than yourself, a spouse, or a family member.
Make sure to apply and enroll in coverage through Pennie during Open Enrollment, which takes place November 1, 2021 – January 15, 2022: By submitting a Pennie application, you’ll find out if you qualify for:
- Financial assistance to help pay for health coverage and care. This will be based on your income and household size.
- Free or low-cost coverage through Medicaid (Medical Assistance or MA). If you have children, you'll find out if they qualify for coverage through Medicaid or CHIP.
Self-employment income and Pennie savings:
- When you fill out a Pennie application, you'll have to estimate your net self-employment income. Eligibility for financial assistance is based on your estimated net income for the year you're getting coverage, not last year's income.
- If you leave a job for any reason and lose job-based insurance: You can buy an insurance plan using a Special Enrollment Period. You have 60 days from when the insurance ends to enroll.
- If you have income that's hard to predict: You can apply with your best estimate of what you expect to make for the year. Your savings will be based on that estimate. When your income changes, you can update your application to adjust your coverage and savings.
You can choose from several categories of coverage from Pennie, 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 access healthcare services.
- If you're under 30 or have a hardship exemption, you can pick a Catastrophic health plan - an inexpensive way to protect yourself from worst-case scenarios.