How to Get Insurance for the Self-Employed

January 31, 2008

Unless you work for a company that has a group insurance plan, health care insurance can be astronomical. In fact, more and more people do not have insurance at all because smaller businesses cannot afford the benefit, and getting insurance on your own becomes a choice between keeping a roof overhead or having a health coverage.

For the self-employed, the problem can be even more pronounced, since you are already struggling to make enough to pay the bills, without the guarantee of a regular paycheck. So, how to get insurance for the self-employed is a stressful issue.

I am sad to say, I do not have any cheap answers to suggest, but I may have one that is less expensive than other options.

My brother started his own business a couple of years ago. One of their main concerns from the beginning was health insurance. Both are middle aged with pre-existing health issues. Ouch! Right there, the insurance premium is going to go way up. Plus, they wanted full coverage, so they did not have to worry about dental and eye care.

When I asked what they decide to do, my brother told me about NASE (National Association for the Self-Employed). Through this association, my brother and his wife can get full coverage insurance at group coverage premium prices. While it is still not cheap, because an employer is not subsidizing the amount, it is far better than full coverage, if he were to get it on his own.

As a member of NASE, my brother also has access to medical advice from qualified physicians, before he spends money to go to the doctor. He can also save money on other health care costs; and he can get a list of doctors throughout the country, if he has to be away from home on a business trip or vacation.

Personally, as I began exploring the issue, I must admit I am flabbergasted at the cost of health insurance today. Even with an employer and a full-time job, the family premiums take a big chunk out of every paycheck. But, I also know the alternative is worse.

A few months ago, my neighbor had a stroke. Lean and seemingly fit, who would ever guess he would soon be paralyzed on one side. He has no health insurance through his company. He was in the hospital for two months and now he has ongoing health care concerns, maybe for the rest of his life. Plus, I believe his wife had to quit her job, because he needs around-the-clock care.

So, if you think you can get by without health insurance because you are young and healthy, think again. Today, you have the gift of good health. Tomorrow, who knows?

Do you have any other advice for self-employed people looking for health insurance?



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2 Responses to How to Get Insurance for the Self-Employed

  • Self Employed Loans

    Good post. Sorry to hear about your neighbour though.

  • Jonathan Pletzke

    Association based health insurance has some major problems, one of which is common enough and serious enough to have earned it’s own name: “The Death Spiral”. Insurers will put customers into associations and underwrite them into closed “blocks of business”. Over time rates will go up, the healthier folks will leave, and the rates will go up even higher, and then this “block of business” could be cancelled due to not enough people. Those with conditions are left without any coverage and even fewer options.

    The good news is that there are other choices and ways of getting coverage that can guarantee coverage and keep the monthly costs down. I’ve got a number of free resources that can help people to make the best choices for their health insurance and avoid big ripoffs that can leave them broke or dead.