How to Find Affordable Health Insurance If You’re Self-Employed

Buying health insurance out of pocket can be very expensive these days. Those of us who are considered “self-employed” currently make up about one third of the workforce and many of us don’t have insurance. Not all is lost, though. You have options; you just have to know where to look. Here are a few tips for those seeking insurance coverage.

Spouse’s Plan:

This may be the most affordable option for getting proper health insurance if you’re self-employed, but you must have a spouse and they must have health insurance that will cover you.

Former Employer’s Plan:

If you’re retiring and under 65, you may have the option to keep your employer’s plan, however, it can still cost you about double the amount you were paying with your employer.

Your Community:

If you’re self-employed and looking for reasonably priced health care, shop around to different organizations in your community. Church or Alumni associations sometimes offer group coverage. Connect with your alma mater to see if they can get you covered. Check with your local Chamber of Commerce for group plan rates for either supplemental or full coverage.

To get additional help from the online communities, surf over to the website for the National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE.org) for applicable insurance plans. If you can’t find a plan directly from them, they will certainly help you interface with a group that can.

COBRA:

Probably the least viable option and the most expensive, but it is an option nonetheless. The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act or COBRA requires employers to extend their health care coverage for 18 months after your separation from the company. You have to pay the full, unsubsidized cost for your insurance, plus a 2% administrative fee. The only saving grace here is that COBRA allows you to be covered if you have a pre-existing condition.

While being your own boss definitely has its perks, it does make it difficult to get health insurance coverage. It’s difficult, but not impossible. The reality is that you will have to pay significantly higher rates, so you’ll have to accept that reality, for now. If you know the right places to look, you can get the coverage you need for a price that will allow you the financial freedom to pursue the job of your dreams.

About the Author:

Kevin Murphy is a freelance writer and former insurance industry professional.  He spends most of his time in his native Australia, and writes about health insurance Frank Health Insurance.

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