INSURANCE GUIDE
Business plan and figures on table
An appropriate health insurance plan for the self employed is as crucial as a business plan

Becoming an entrepreneur is a big moment. Maybe you’ve always dreamed of owning your own bakery but when you finally do it, there are many things you need to think about. Health insurance is one of them. In fact, this is one of the major issues when moving from a job with benefits to being a self-employed business owner. You can be proud of yourself for doing so well but sometimes, the cost of health insurance can deflate you. And it may not even be that you own your business. You could be a professional freelance writer or an independent contractor but either way, there isn’t a business providing a benefits plan for you. This means you need to find health insurance somewhere.

How to Get Self Employed Health Insurance

Individual Plans

If you’re buying health insurance as a self-employed individual, it’s likely you are going to have to purchase a private insurance plan. There are pros and cons to this type of plan. When you do your research, you will notice that a variety of companies offer many different policies. It can seem overwhelming at first but having this many choices is actually considered a positive thing. It will allow you to pick and choose the coverage that can benefit you the most from the provider that can supply the best price. This works best if you have a clean bill of health. One of the downsides of private health insurance plans is that if you have a pre-existing condition you can be denied for coverage, at least until 2014. If you’re currently thinking about quitting your job and opening your own business but you know will be denied for this reasoning, it might worth it to wait.

COBRA

Or you can utilize COBRA. This is available if you were working somewhere that offered health benefits and then you quite. COBRA allows you to extend your employer benefits while you foot the bill for the premium. Your health insurance expenditure is going to rise drastically but you will be covered under the same amount as when you working. And you get the added bonus of extra time to build your personal business.

Your Spouse

Another way you can stay insured and self-employed is to get married. If you’re single and don’t have a love interest, this may be a bit of a stretch. If you’re currently married and your spouse has employee health benefits, as a couple you should look into what would happen if you were added to the policy. The price of the plan would likely increase but it would still be a more affordable option than an individual plan.

Professional Group

Depending on your trade or profession, you may be able to find a group that caters to your insurance needs. Check within your local community and expand your search farther if you need to. There may be very specific requirement for health plans through groups like these and you may find that it’s not the most affordable and flexible option. Some groups may try to raise prices without reasoning so if you decide to go this route, be aware of what’s happening to your policy and your hard earned money.

Other Options for the Self-Employed

If you hire an employee, you might be able to purchase small business health insurance to cover you and your employee. This is a much more detailed transaction that purchasing your personal insurance though you would need to seek outside counsel to set this up. Ask if it would cost beneficial for you because not only are you going to have to pay for the plan but you are going to have to pay another person as well. The other option is to just stay employed and run your business on the side. This is how many people get their start  and as income starts to increase, you will feel more comfortable not only leaving your day job but paying the monthly premiums for health insurance.

Everyone wants to have their dream job but the need for health insurance is a reality. Make sure you have the correct information before an injury turns into a nightmare.