What are the best health insurance options if you’re self-employed?
When you are no longer on a company’s group health insurance plan, getting the same type of coverage you had with a former employer may not be possible at the same costs you previously had. The monthly premiums you’d have to pay would be quite large, not to mention the fact that a pre-existing condition may mean the denial of coverage altogether.
Searching for insurance will feel overwhelming and you may not get exactly what you had before in the same price range, but with some sacrifices and changes you will be able to get health coverage. An Arizona health insurance broker can walk you through the challenges of deciding what insurance option will be best for you.
COBRA Health Insurance
COBRA, or the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, is the requirement that a former employer allow you to continue your health care coverage but pay the full premium. If you’re leaving a job with health insurance in order to start your own business, you may be qualified to use COBRA.
Keep in mind, though, that COBRA is not only extremely expensive, but can last only up to 18 months. This seems like a long time but if you plan on being self-employed long term it might be better to consider other insurance offers. The one big benefit to COBRA is if you have a pre-existing condition because the high premium may be more affordable than paying for medication or care out of pocket.
Spouse’s Group Plan
Although you may be taking the dive to work from home, if you’re married and your spouse works, it’s likely he or she has access to health care through their employer. Instead of buying an individual policy, you can have your spouse add you to their employer’s plan. The only catch is that you might have to wait for open enrollment or talk to your spouse’s human resources department to be sure you’re able to start a plan. This will be a more reasonably priced option for you to receive health insurance and it allows you coverage even if you have health issues or pre-existing conditions.
Not all people who decide to become self-employed are leaving a job in the midst of their career. If you’re retiring from your job instead of quitting, you may have one more insurance option. Some employers offer forme workers retiree health benefits. This means that if you retired from that company after so many years of working there, the company will allow you to buy health insurance through the company’s plan. If the company is really generous they’ll even subsidize some of the premium you have to pay. Keep in mind that if the company doesn’t subsidize the premium the plan will be very expensive. Also remember that this is a very rare offer that not all companies make, so if you plan on retiring from your job and continuing to use your current health care plan as a retiree, keep in mind it could not happen.
Set Up a Small Business Group Plan
By hiring an employee you may become eligible to buy small group insurance. This is especially useful if you have a pre-existing condition and are unable to purchase an individual health insurance policy. The best way to evaluate if this is a possibility is to talk to an Arizona insurance broker about what would count as qualification for this type of plan. Some people hire a spouse or part-time worker to be able to qualify for this type of insurance plan, so don’t fret if you can’t afford many employees. Depending on the law and type of insurance you’re seeking, just one part-time employee could do the trick to get you a small business group insurance plan.
Purchase your own policy
What is probably the most reasonable option - especially if you’re single and in good health - is to purchase your own health insurance policy through an Arizona health insurance broker. Many policies are available that have low premiums and high deductibles, which makes insurance possible if you’re having trouble finding a plan you can afford. Unfortunately for anyone who has a pre-existing condition or partakes in very risky activities, you may be turned down from an individual policy.
The main purpose of this type of insurance is to keep a person from having huge hospital bills if a catastrophic event were to occur. The younger and healthier you are, the less costly a personal health insurance policy will be, but as you get older, the policy can become expensive. Because these plans have high deductibles, it’s important to keep a savings account for medical emergencies to cover deductibles if you get sick or hurt yourself.
When it comes to your health and caring for yourself, it’s one of the biggest responsibilities you’ll have as a new boss. If you’re having issues with figuring out how to get insurance, talk to an Arizona insurance broker to weigh your options and what you can afford. If you still feel unsure about what is best for you moving forward, consider a part-time job to pay for health insurance or to qualify yourself for benefits through the company you’re working. As much as you’ll want to get caught up in the excitement of working from home, don’t let more important responsibilities like your healthcare fall to the wayside.