One of the single most expensive necessities that a self employed person has to provide for themselves and their families is health insurance. The options are not good for those who go it alone. But at least there are some options. Arming yourself with some information can help you keep your monthly premiums affordable.
If you leave a job (or are let go), you can keep your present insurance through Cobra which is extended to you temporarily after your employment has ended. It provides coverage regardless of pre-existing conditions. The downside is that you bear the entire cost of the premiums which are very expensive. Also, President Obama’s stimulus package contains a subsidy of 65% for nine months to help pay the premiums. While this is a nice gesture, it is only temporary, and you still might be unable to afford the premiums.
A state-sponsored high-risk insurance pool is available in most states. These also tend to be very expensive but not quite as much as the Cobra option. Log onto your individual states website to see about information on these programs.
Finally, you can perform some research and compare rates of companies who specialize in offering health insurance for those who do not have a job, or are self employed. These plans vary from company to company, but the overall picture is basically the same.
Your premiums will be more affordable, but the coverage is not near what you will find in a large corporate policy. Also, there are a range of policy options, not unlike the smorgasbord of choices in most corporate plans but the deductibles are higher.
Check out the offerings on www.ehealthinsurance.com for a plan that will fit your needs.
Some names that you will find in your search are United Health One, Unicare, Anthem, Humana One and others. If you are over the age of 50, you can also look into health care coverage through AARP.
You should also look into supplemental health insurance of the kind that is offered by companies like ALFAC. They specialize in coverage that other insurance plans do not offer.
Also, some communities have a county-level prescription plan for local residents which can help you save money on your medications.
One final way to help keep costs low is to consult with a local independent insurance agent who can help keep an eye out for you for a better plan.
A significant amount of time and effort will be spent in finding a plan that fits you and your situation, but it is necessary in order to keep your premiums affordable. You will also need to remain vigilant and make changes as your situation changes or better plans become available. Ultimately you will learn very quickly that health insurance for self employed persons is a never-ending, constantly evolving process.