Being self-employed is just a means of putting yourself on the edge of one of the most difficult decisions in life. Being self-employed is one of the scariest leaps for many with health insurance being toward the top of almost every entrepreneur’s list of fears. There are ways to help minimize risk and put a self-employed person’s fears at ease even though it is a real concern to have.
One of the biggest and most recent developments when it comes to a self-employed person’s health insurance needs is the introduction of Obamacare. While this is a hotly debated topic and we find a divide on the opinions people hold in relation to it, it is undeniable that Obamacare has made it easier for self-employed people to obtain and keep health insurance for them and their families. In the marketplace, Obamacare exchange does not include applicants based on health history and status alone and can help applicants without perfect health histories and current health from being disqualified.
You will not be screened for health and acceptability when you work for a regular employer who offers benefits as a part of your employment package. This same right is however extended to self-employed people who apply through the marketplace. If you have had previous or current health related issues, prices do not rise substantially.
This was a huge deal for self-employed people in making progress toward being insurable and covered in cases of catastrophe. However, just because you can get coverage through the marketplace without gouging for health issues does not mean it will be cheap. Depending on your income, you may qualify for financial aid to go toward paying your premiums, however, this is not a guarantee and if you make too much, you will not be able to qualify. Premiums can be expensive, but again, many are happy that they have the ability to be covered in general.
Keeping light part-time employment with an employer who offers benefits as part of your employment package is another option self-employed people opt for. This deal can be a feasible option when you are straddling career and transitioning over without having a ton of income flowing in to cover higher premiums even though this is not ideal for many who are busy with their own self-employment schedules. Consider going this route to save money and possibly get more comprehensive and supported coverage as well if you are in a position where this could work.
If you are younger than the 26-year-old cut off, consider going on your parent’s insurance until you no longer can. You will likely be able to get better rates and coverage with their insurance than with your own while building up your business. As you build your profits and your stability, you will be able to start seeking and filtering out other options for the longer term. Staying on your parent’s insurance in the meantime can help save you some stress and heartache.
You can utilize cobra to extend your plan and coverage until you get something else in place for people separating from regular employment and want to keep their coverage for a short period of time. You can keep some stability with providers and plans for a short period of time because Cobra is relatively expensive and this is more important especially if you have ongoing health issues that will take some time and car to transfer over and find providers for.
Remember, like anything else related to becoming self-employed, planning for health insurance will take some research and understanding to navigate. While it may be tempting to ignore insurance and hope you won’t need it, this is not a solid strategy and can be very dangerous to your physical, emotional and financial health. Be smart and stay healthy by exploring your options and keeping you and your loved ones covered.