Self employed? There Could be More Medical Insurance Options Than You Think
According to the latest U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates there are now close to 20 million home-based businesses in the United States. Though these home-based business can be very different, this growing number of self employed entrepreneurs have one thing in common - the need for affordable medical insurance.
Yet a recent survey by the Insurance Information Institute in New York, found that 40 percent of small-business owners do without medical insurance, because they are of the mistaken impression that there is not an affordable health insurance product available to them. But self-employed individuals or business owners have more healthcare insurance options than they may think.
Remember why you left your job to strike out on your own in the first place? Most people say it was one word “Freedom”. Well as an independent professional you have a greater amount of control when it comes to your decisions about your own health insurance. Self-employed individuals don’t have to worry about a boss or an HR department dictating their medical benefits. You can analyze your specific needs and have the freedom to select a health insurance plan to meet your specific requirements. With the ability to shop around for medical insurance afforded by the Internet, a self- employed individual can set up a medical benefits plan far superior to any one he or she may have been receiving from an employer.
However if you do not have the time or the wherewithal to shop around, or if you were in love with those company benefits, remember you can take them with you, but it will cost you. Through COBRA, if you have left your job to start your own business, you can keep paying for your health benefits for up to 18 months, but usually at a significantly higher premium. COBRA is probably the worst option for a fledgling entrepreneur.
Don’t forget about your spouse. Many times if you have left a job to start your own business, your spouse has maintained his or her full-time job. You probably can get on his or her employer based group heath plan, sometime cheaper than purchasing coverage on your own.
Finally if you do need to purchase an individual policy there is a wealth of options available to you for low-cost health insurance. First, even if you are self-employed you do not have to do it alone. Consider joining a group or trade association that offers its members low-cost health coverage as a benefit of membership. Use the Internet and shop around; there are many sites that will give you a customized free quote on quality health insurance for individuals. And remember as a Small Business owner, even if it is a business of one, what you pay in health insurance premiums is 100% tax deductible.