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Affordable Health Insurance Self Employed Question & Answers

2013 August 22
by Sarah Fields

Paul asks…

Anyone ever start or know how health insurance co-ops work?

I’m the Treasurer for an international non-profit networking organization, many of whom make their living as self-employed, or would like to be doing so. One of the biggest difficulties is affordable health insurance. Our organization is about 400 members, but there are similar organizations with whom we could partner that might bring that up to 1,000. If we had 75% participation, could we get monthly payments that “real” people can afford? (by this I mean $200-$300 for good coverage with RX, office visits, etc.) Thanks!

Sarah Fields answers:

Likely not. The problem is, people in excellent health and under 40 can get private health insurance at about that premium, or slightly less – so the people you’re going to get to join are going to have pre-existing conditions and otherwise skew the general health of the group. Plus, you’re talking about them adding families, right? You CAN’T insure a family for $300 a month, you just can’t. CHEAP family insurane is going to run closer to $600 a month, IF everyone is healthy. Which, I’m assuming, you guys aren’t.

Lastly, 1000 people isn’t a very large pool; AND when you’re talking about international coverages, you’re talking multiple carriers, with wildly different governmental regulations, and it’s REALLY going to be more hassle than it’s worth from ANY agent or carrier’s point of view.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings.

Mary asks…

How can I find affordable health insurance for self employed?

For just me and him we pay $927 a month! He has no medical conditions. I take 3 medications for depression and anxiety, but its been a lifelong thing, and I require not psychiatrist or anything , like that, just the meds from my family doctor to keep my chemicals level. Can we get assistance, or is there special help for the self employed? I’m 35 and he is 40.

Sarah Fields answers:

So there are two main types of health insurance plan: individual and family policies and group (that is, employer-based) health insurance policies. You’ll qualify to apply for the first. In fact, that’s probably what you have now. But depending on the rules in your state, you may also qualify for a group plan. In most states you need to have two full-time employees for tax purposes, but some states allow you to apply for group policies with just one (yourself).

That said, group policies aren’t generally any more affordable than individual policies, but they will cover you regardless of any past medical conditions.

That said, work with a licensed agent online or in your area to get quotes and compare your options. You may have some better choices available. Your past medical issues could be a concern, however, so be sure NOT to cancel your current plan until you’re approved for a new one.

If you want to learn more about health insurance options for self-employed people, check out the ‘Health Insurance for Entrepreneurs’ Guide we published online:

http://www.ehealthinsurance.com/small-business-health-insurance/resources/buyers-guide.pdf

Hope that helps.

Donna asks…

Does anyone have any suggestions for affordable health insurance for the self employed?

I am a self employed horse trainer and can’t find an insurance company to insure me for a reasonalbe amount of money.

Sarah Fields answers:

I think the best way is to do some research on your own and then get in touch with local health insurance agents or brokers. I say more than one because talking with more agents will give you more ideas, see more health plan products, and – most importantly – get several different insurance agents competing two earn your business. Many people don’t realize it, but insurance plans aren’t any cheaper online than they are through an agent.

You might want to find out whether a horse trainer organization has group health insurance. It would be cheaper than individual health insurance. I’ve included a link to United Professional Horsemen’s Association; they might have group health plans for members or offer advice. I’m sure there are other professional horse trainers in your situation.

When I’ve looked at self-employment matters, The National Associated for the Self-Employed (see link below) had some good information. They have a health care Web site with some good information as well (also below). Also, some states have group-purchasing pools for small business and the self-employed. Depending on the kind of business you’re in, there may be a trade association you can join and get group health insurance through them.

After you’ve done some researching, try visiting MostChoice.com. You fill out a short form, they send you information on health plans available in your state, and local state-licensed insurance agents contact you within 48 hours to talk about what you’re company needs in a group health plan. It’s free and you’re not required to buy anything from the agents who contact you. Just wait until one of them delivers an insurance solution that makes sense for you and your company.

You can visit MostChoice here: http://www.mostchoice.com/health-insurance.cfm

Hope this helps,
Barnes@MostChoice

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