One of the first questions truck drivers have when searching for the highest paying trucking jobs is whether or not health insurance is available. As far as truck driver benefits goes health care coverage ranks at the top of the priority list. Yet with the current Presidential administration on the verge of dropping the Affordable Care Act the question of health insurance coverage is at the forefront of many truckers’ and trucking company employers’ minds. Find out how you can find health insurance for truck drivers to determine the best option for your situation.
Is Obamacare even an option anymore? It is, actually. A visit to healthcare.gov will let you search for the marketplace in your state, if applicable, where you can find your own health insurance. However, there is a slim chance that you can enroll today, unless you are pregnant or losing health care coverage, or if you qualify for low-income health insurance coverage. This means you will have to wait until the next open enrollment period to be able to apply and get health insurance using this method.
- In the meantime you can check out the price of health insurance plans in your area using the 2017 health insurance plans and prices tool. This way you can at least get an idea of how much your coverage would cost when you could enroll.
- The enrollment period for Obamacare will be from November 1 to January 31, 2017.
Health Savings Account
A more popular option for individuals who are in good health and want more control over their health insurance benefits is a health savings account. This savings account is associated with a high-deductible health plan or HDHP, so it’s not ideal if you want a low deductible. However, you will pay less each month for your health care coverage, so it balances out. The money you contribute to your medical savings account is not taxed by the federal government, and if it accumulates interest this isn’t taxed either.
If you need to use your insurance benefits for a doctor’s visit, prescription drugs, or surgery, you have money to cover your expenses through your HSA. It allows you to save your own money with interest to be used to pay for medical expenses when needed. If you opt for a HSA ask your trucking employer if this is optional at your trucking job, or check out HSA Bank to find out how to get started. You can also check with your affiliated religious organizations to see if the church offers HSA, which is an option in several states.
OOIDA Trucking Insurance
One misconception that truck drivers and owner operators have is that the Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) provides trucking insurance. OOIDA does have networks for trucking insurance, but this does not include health insurance for truckers. You can, however, purchase individual insurance products, such as vision, dental, prescription drug plans, life insurance, and accident coverage. If you want to supplement a slack health insurance plan, or you strictly want particular products OOIDA can help. Of course you will have to be a member of OOIDA to receive access to these benefits.
Insurance and the NRA
That’s right, you read that correctly, the National Rifle Association provides access to health insurance for its members. NRA Healthcare Marketplace offers endorsed health care, but it’s not the same as full-on health insurance. Like OOIDA, the NRA offers access to several products including long term care, prescription discount card, Medicare supplement, hospital help plan, and cancer care insurance plan. This type of piece-meal coverage is good for filling the gaps if you know you have certain health issues or medical conditions, and you are unable to sign up for Obamacare due to lack of coverage in your area or the high premiums.
Group Health Insurance
For most truck drivers hauling for the top paying trucking companies like Arka Express, Brown NationaLease or Dot-Line Transportation health care is available as a benefit. When you search for OTR trucking jobs ask your recruiter about the health insurance options. Get all of the details including how long you have to be employed full-time before your insurance benefits will be available. At the same time, if you can get on the group insurance plan at the trucking company where you are employed you will be able to get healthcare coverage at an affordable rate. This is thanks to the group plan, which reduces the financial risk of the truck drivers being covered.
Issues with Getting Covered
Truck drivers are more likely to suffer from health problems due to the nature of their trucking job, in comparison to other occupations. As a result, it can be costly to insure truck drivers on an individual level thanks to pre-existing health problems, such as diabetes, sleep apnea and high blood pressure. By getting on a group policy you stand a much better chance of getting affordable coverage. Keep in mind in a group plan your insurance premium will likely increase if another person in your group has a medical condition or becomes a high risk insured trucker. However, as a truck driver you want to have good health insurance coverage to protect your health on down the road.