What Type of Insurance should Freelance Writers take out

Since 1996, the percentage of home workers has increased markedly. And, at one time, it was thought that those who worked from their own homes did not need insurance. However, as time has gone by, and with what we know now about health and fitness, this is not the case.

Anyone who remains static, at the keyboard, for any length of time could be susceptible to any number of health problems, such as obesity, pitted edema, and diabetes. Anyone who is sat at their keyboard for any length of time, is in danger of developing such conditions and should set up life insurance to reflect this fact. This is especially so if those conditions run in the family [inherited], as you could be more liable to getting them than anyone else.

As explained above, the dangers to your health – if your job means that you are sitting down for long periods of time – can be serious. This means that you will have to think about taking out life insurance. We all have a tendency to snack, while at the keyboard working, and thus the weight that can creep up on us can result in swollen legs, ankles, arms, high blood pressure, leading to heart conditions and even strokes and finally death.

This is because of the lack of exercise, nutrients and vitamins our bodies may be lacking in, to keep it ‘fully-tuned’, so-to-speak. Those who work from home – especially writers, telephone -sales people, artists, or graphic designers – may not have thought about life insurance before, but it could well be worth your while to think about it now.

However, this is a double-edged sword. This is simply because the premiums for personal health care are so high as to be unaffordable to the average home worker. The vast majority of people who are home workers, do so without any life insurance at all – hoping that they never become sick in any way. In other words, they are playing Russian Roulette with their health and subsequently, their lives.

If one does research on private medical care, then the reading is not pretty viewing. If you want to work at home, and become self-employed, then the pitfalls you face – in reference to healthcare – can be depressing. There will be steep monthly premiums you will have to pay, and when you are actually applying for personal life cover then the process can be very confusing indeed.

By taking the time to shop around and look for the best deal for yourself, when it comes to healthcare,you be saving yourself a lot of trouble in the future. Look to see how much you can actually afford each month toward your personal healthcare – without it putting you into debt.  If you find a healthcare plan that you may be able to afford, give yourself at least 60 days to examine it very carefully before you commit your money. By doing this you are making doubly sure that this will be the right plan for you.

What one has to understand that anyone taking out a private plan , then that plan is underwritten. This can be based on many things such as your health, age, whether you smoke or not, and your weight. However, there are cases in which taking out a private healthcare plan you will be obliged to attend a medical. If you have an existing condition, such as bulminia, or asthma, it is often enough for the company to push up your premiums.

However, if you suffer with depression, or acute anxiety, then there are not many health care organisations that will take you on. Cancer, heart disease or any other life-threatening condition that runs in the family, could be enough to stop any health care insurer from accepting your application.

Even if they decide to accept your application – despite your condition – the premiums could be too high for you to afford. If you do not tell them about any pre-existing condition/s you may have, and you apply, and if they accept and then later see something that they do not like, then they will push up your premiums.

In America, health insurance is regulated. That is to say that insurers must offer health insurance coverage to applicants – this is regardless of their health conditions. However, the premiums are around $1,000 a month – and that is the cheapest rate. One can see that even at the cheapest rate, this amount far exceeds what the vast majority of people can afford.

There are regions – like California and Florida for example – whose premiums are at a more sensible level for younger people, and higher for elderly people. However, it is in such regions, as those mentioned, that insurers can refuse to accept applications outright – based on whatever reason they may have. As you can imagine, this is not against the law, as they are perfectly entitled to do this, but the question has to be asked…where does that leave you?

The only other option if one was desperate to apply for some kind of health insurance, is to try purchasing policies from ‘high-risk’ companies. As you can imagine, these are not cheap, and they also will not cover any pre-existing health conditions that you may have.

If you are a former employee, but you want to work for yourself now, there is the option to sign up for COBRA. COBRA is a Federal Law that requires many employers to offer their former employees health insurance. If this is the case with you, then accept it. It is always a lot better to keep a former employer’s health plan for the full term – 18 months. Again, the premiums may be steep, but it will be a lot better than purchasing it on your own.

The sensible thing to do, once you have your COBRA, is to begin to look around for other ‘plans’. Do this before your COBRA runs out. Obviously, the fastest way to do this is through the Internet. Look on the Web, in reference to health policies that are on offer. In fact there are a couple of links to web sights at the end of this article that you can click onto, which may be off interest to you.

If you can find someone who represents a lot of companies, then that will be better for you in the long run. They must also understand the underwriting standards for each and every insurer that they represent. It is no good seeking out an insurer that does not cover your previous health issues – as you will be rejected. This is a danger sign because if you are rejected then this could go against you when you apply for personal health insurance with other insurers. Seeking out a broker who is well-informed, will keep you clear of those kind of insurers.

If you are a writer then check with the Writers Guild as to whether they will offer you health insurance. See what policy they offer you [ if any]  and whether or not your previous health condition will be taken into account. Remember, individual plans may appear cheaper, but individuals have to pay the full premium on their own. If you live in a ‘restricted State’ or if you are an older individual with issues regarding health, than you can expect to pay a lot more than usual. The normal payment is around $10,000 -$12,000 a year – and this is stated by Families USA’s Stoll.

In order to afford your premiums, the one way around it is to increase your deductible – do not go above what you can afford to pay each month or year. Do not try to match your former employer’s plan. If you have a young family of four, and you are living in Chicago, then Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois will charge $636,00 a month [in premiums] and around $250,00 [deductible]. Premiums can be lowered to $415,00 a month if they accept a deductible of $1,750.

On any policy always be sure to read the fine print. Read every part of the policy and be sure you understand it. Anything you do not understand then it is up to you to ask questions. Do not be afraid to ask because it is only by asking that you could save yourself a whole lot of expense in the long run.

Make sure that the policy you are purchasing suits you and is comprehensive – covering all of your health needs. And also make sure that it covers you should you fall ill at any given time in the future. Look for a policy in which you will be guaranteed that the rates will not rise after a year. And the most important point of all is to go with an insurer that you know and trust. If you do not know the history of that insurer, then check its ability rating with Standard & Poors.

Health insurance is not at the top of the list of your ‘things to do’, but it should be. It is vital that you get the right insurance for you that will cover all of your health needs – and the type of policy that you are able to afford. So always take your time when searching for a policy that you need, and never feel rushed into purchasing something you will later regret buying.

Standard & Poor’s


The Writers Guild