Health Insurance For The Self Employed
Expensive health insurance is one of the major obstacles self employed individuals have to face. It’s one of the many reasons that force self employed individuals to go back to the corporate world, or even get a part time job. The fact is, health insurance is often times too expensive to buy on your own. It’s even worse for those of us who are already struggling with business expenses while we try to keep our small businesses afloat.
You may think that you are out of options. Being self employed, you might think that health insurance is simply a luxury you can do without. Living in America without health insurance, however, is like walking a tight rope. One slip up and you can be in the hospital. Medical bills in the USA, as we all know, are through the roof. Being caught without health insurance can put both your physical health and financial health in grave danger.
Fortunately for you guys, all health insurance hope is not lost. There are actually some solid, affordable health insurance options available for those of us who are self employed. They might be tough to come across, but they are out there. Let’s take a look at some of the options:
- For those of us who recently became self employed, we are able to extend our previous employer’s health insurance coverage using COBRA. COBRA, or the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985, allows employees to stay on their previous employer’s health insurance plan for up to 18 months after they leave their job. Unfortunately, COBRA payments can still be quite expensive as the employer is no longer obligated to pay for your health care. You have to pay for it yourself. On the plus side, using COBRA is almost always cheaper than going out and finding health insurance coverage on your own.
- Do you have any employees? Companies who employ 1 to 50 people are eligible for small business group insurance plans. This means that even if you have only one employee, you can get a group health insurance plan. You might think that buying an individual plan is cheaper than buying a group plan, but often times this is not the case. You just need to shop around to make sure. (Secret Tip – If you are married and self-employed, consider buying a group plan for you and your wife. Simply say that your wife is one of your employees. This is a great way to save money.)
- Check with your local chamber of commerce to see if there are any unions or trade organizations you could join that offer health insurance. One such organization is the Freelancer’s Union. This organization offers affordable health insurance and other perks for individuals that qualify. Also, if you are a member of any wholesale clubs like Sam’s, CostCo, or BJ’s, you could check to see what type of insurance plans they offer.
- Choose a higher deductible to lower your premiums. If your deductible is $5,000 or higher, you will still be protected in case of a catastrophe, but your insurance payments won’t be as outrageous. Keep the money you save in an emergency bank account in case the unthinkable occurs. Most likely, you won’t ever need to touch this money and can save it to use on something a bit more exciting than health insurance.
- Marry somebody with health insurance through their employer! No, I am not joking. You could easily save thousands per year if your spouse is employed. Most employers, as you know, allow you to insurance your family members under your plan. A lot of people marry for money. Why not marry for health insurance?
- Last but not least, you need to shop around. Being self-employed, we are forced to make many tough business decisions everyday. Choosing health insurance is just another hurdle we need to face. Fortunately, buying health insurance is a little bit less stressful than say flying to China to meet with manufacturers of auto parts who do not speak English. At SelfHealthInsurance.com, we hope to make this process easy for you. If you enter your zip code at the top of this page and fill out our brief questionnaire, you will be provided with health insurance quotes from the top insurance providers. Happy shopping and good luck!