While many individuals are insured through employers benefits, this is not always the case. Entrepreneurs around the country have achieved the “American Dream” by building their own success from the ground up. Self-employment means being your own boss, setting your own hours and building your own salary.
While self-employment is often an appealing option, it comes with its fair share of headaches. Finding affordable health insurance is just one hurdle of being self-employed. The truth is, healthcare can be bought just like a car, a television, or office furniture. It’s an expense that should be researched and purchased in the same way.
Individual Health Insurance
While employer health insurance is sold to the employer and provided to employees, individual health insurance is sold directly to the individual or to a family. Individual health insurance options are the same as employer-based plans including HMO, PPO, and POS.
There are several advantages to individual health insurance rather than employer group plans.
1. First, an individual plan caters to you, to get you exactly the coverage you need, and nothing you don’t. This ensures that you’re only paying for what you need, and not overpaying for benefits that are unnecessary.
2. It also gives you the chance to include additional benefits and options that might be limited with an employer plan.
3. With an individual plan you can shop around and find better rates with other companies rather than being committed to your employers company.
4. Best of all, your healthcare is no longer dependent on your employer, you can feel free to work wherever you want, to be your own boss and build your own company without the fear of living uninsured.
Saving on Individual Healthcare
Just as when you’re shopping for a car, it’s important to shop around and do your research to find the best cost for insurance. Don’t choose the first policy that is offered to you, but rather look for other companies that provide similar coverage at a better price. When you’re looking for health insurance, consider choosing a high deductible to keep your monthly payments low. While this means that in the event of an incident, you’ll pay more at that time, your overall yearly costs will be lower.
In some states, there are options to secure health insurance coverage through a home-based business program. Check with your state's department of insurance to learn what is available in your area. There are other programs that also offer health insurance options including The Small Business Service Bureau, AARP (for people over 50), and industry-specific trade associations.