What’s the best place for the self employed to get health insurance?
UPDATED: Mar 26, 2012
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Asked March 26, 2012
Health insurance is an important facet of modern life. Without it, the cost of even routine health care can quickly escalate beyond the budget of moderate to low income earners. But if you are self-employed, trying to find affordable health insurance may seem like a difficult prospect. The good news is that health insurance is available for the self-employed, with premiums that you will be able to afford, you just have to know where to look.
The first consideration, if you were recently employed by a company that had health insurance, is COBRA insurance. The Consolidated Omnibus Reconciliation Act, COBRA, makes it possible to extend coverage you were getting through an employer for up to 18 months. You would have to pay the full premiums, even the portion previously paid by your employer, but COBRA will allow you to continue your existing coverage, and many insurance companies will work with you to find ways to keep your insurance even after COBRA expires.
If COBRA is not an option, you may be able to get group health insurance through professional, trade, or civic groups you belong to. For example, AAA, AARP, and many professional organizations such as the National Association for the Self-Employed offer health insurance plans to their members. If you are Sam's Club member, you may be able to get group rates through that group as well. No matter which group you get your coverage through, you will save a lot of money over purchasing private coverage.
As a last resort, you could look into individual health insurance, but don't be surprised to find that the premiums are much higher than you are accustomed to paying. Furthermore, private insurance is finicky about who they will write a health insurance policy for. If you have preexisting conditions, smoke, or are excessively obese, private coverage may be difficult to impossible to find.
Answered March 26, 2012 by Anonymous