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How to Get Self-Employed Health Insurance

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Health CareOne of the difficulties that many face when self-employed is finding health insurance that works for them. The rising cost of health care and health insurance means that many would-be entrepreneurs end up staying in their jobs, just for the benefits. When I began my freelancing business, my husband was still in school, and we were shocked at how much family health coverage cost through the school.

So, we began looking around for individual health insurance. We were able to find an affordable group plan, which lumps us into a “group” with other individuals and families who need separate coverage. Being part of the “group” acts in much the way that buying insurance as part of a company works. This helps keep the cost down; in fact, I pay less for my family’s insurance premiums than some people I know with health benefits at work.

Resources for Finding Self-Employed Health Insurance

Due to the recent increases in the ranks of the self-employed, it is no surprise that there are more resources available for those who need to find affordable health insurance.

One of the best places to start is the Georgetown-run HealthInsuranceInfo.net. You can find information on the options in your state, as well as information about where to turn if you are high-risk, or have a pre-existing condition. The site warns that funding issues have led to some outdated information, but it’s still possible to find relatively recent information, and it makes a good starting point.

You can also check with your local Chamber of Commerce for information about self-employed health insurance options, as well as small business plans. I like eHealthInsurance.com, which is the site I used to find a plan. You can compare different insurers and plans, and shop for something that works for you. It’s worth noting that Media Bistro and Freelancers Union offer plans that freelancers can use as well. These resources can help you compare information, and figure out the best option for you going forward.

It will probably be harder to find what you need if you have a pre-existing condition, or are considered high risk in some way. Check with your state, though, since there is likely to be a high risk pool that can help you find self-employed health insurance. And, if the recently-passed health care law isn’t struck down by the Supreme Court, state exchanges should be online soon to help you shop for health insurance.

Good Health: HDHP + HSA

Over the years, insurance premiums have been rising, and, even though my health insurance started out on the affordable end, it was starting to get out of hand. As a result, I contacted my health insurance provider and switched to a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) and opened a Health Savings Account (HSA).

If you are reasonably healthy, and your family has few health needs, you can benefit from a plan with a high deductible. You pay more out of pocket, but you pay much lower insurance premiums. Even with the higher out of pocket expenses, we are still paying less annually than we were with the higher insurance premiums. We put the savings into a Health Savings Account that can be used to help pay out of pocket health expenses — and provide us with a tax deduction.

(Photo: David DeHoey)

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3 Responses to “How to Get Self-Employed Health Insurance”

  1. Shawanda says:

    I currently receive health insurance under COBRA. I called my health insurer to find out how much a premium policy will cost once my COBRA coverage expires. I was surprised to learn that the group policy I have now isn’t even an option for individuals…at any price. I think I’ll look into obtaining a group policy through a professional organization.

  2. mjac522 says:

    I’m a little curious why you don’t recommend contacting an experienced insurance agent????

    You will pay the same price but get help with enrollment, claims and will have someone to answer your questions.

    By the way, the healthinsuranceinfo site hasn’t been updated in YEARS! My home state of NJ was updated last in 2006.

  3. Sadie says:

    Health Savings Accounts are at risk considering the bank/credit union service charge exceeds their interest rates.

    So much for “tax free” monies available after retirement!


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