Health Insurance for the Self-Employed: A Guide
Self-employed individuals are often at a disadvantage when it comes to private health insurance as reasonably priced ones are often made available only through an employer-sponsored group plan.
The self-employed also do not get to enjoy the benefit of having some or all of the employee health insurance premiums written off by employers of their taxable income in a group health plan. He or she may also miss out on family health benefits that a major employer provides. So, to make up for this loss of benefit, the self-employed may be successful in getting the self-employed health insurance premium that is accepted as a legitimate business expense.
A self-employed individual has the flexibility of selecting the type of insurance based on the coverage as well as the deductibles and co-payments to meet individual needs. In other words, the self-employed individual is free from the constraints faced by employees on a group plan in which coverage is chosen by the employer.
If you are leaving a job to start your own business, attempt to continue with the group plan benefits for the specified period. In the meantime, you should look for online quotes from several health insurance companies before making your choice. While you can choose to opt for an individual private health insurance plan or continue with an existing one, it is advisable to purchase one that is geared towards your status as a self-employed individual as this type of insurance is specifically targeted towards those in business rather than employees. Hence, the type of cover is more comprehensive and relevant to your status as a self-employed person and to your business.
The following steps on finding the right policy especially for the self-employed may guide you to make a decision:
Figure out your specific needs
All individuals have specific needs and that must be covered so always consider those needs when figuring out the best health insurance for you. Do you get sick a lot? Do you only need to go to the doctor in emergencies? Do you have chronic illness that needs constant treatment like remedial massage or chiropractic service?
Once your needs are determined you’ll have a much less difficult time sifting through the available health insurance plans.
What is your budget?
Medical bills and doctor’s visits can be extremely expensive so if you are not covered under a health insurance plan it will cost you a small fortune to pay for minor services like consultation and checkups. Hence, choosing the proper plan for your healthcare needs is important.
You may need to consider the following when choosing a self-employed health care plan:
A) Make sure you know exactly what you need coverage for and make sure that is a part of the plan you choose.
B) Recognise the importance of being able to choose your own doctor and/or to stay with the doctor you currently go to right now since a relationship and a high level of trust between you and your doctor have been established. Also ensure that you get quick access to in-hospital treatment such as surgery.
Apply for Quotes and do comparison shopping
Now your final step is to sign up for a service that will give you several health insurance quotes, hence enabling you to easily find the best individual health insurance for you. Look through the quotes you receive, study the companies and the plans so you know what you are paying for. Most importantly, look at the find print thoroughly to ascertain what the plan covers or does not cover.
If you don’t have health insurance, you are at risk of losing a lot more if you get into an accident, get injured or are taken in by a sudden illness.
In a nut shell, the advantages of private health insurance for the self-employed are early diagnosis of health problems, prompt access to treatment, choice of admission time, date and place and prompt assistance and access to information. This is a crucial factor as treatment is done without conflict with business commitments. Self-employed health insurance policies can also offer a more extensive cover not available on individual health policies.
It is fundamental for self-employed people to get health cover specially designed for their status so that they can be treated speedily by doctors of their choice and get back on their feet to resume their business as quickly as possible. Most importantly, they get the type of cover that is more relevant to their needs such as protecting financial loss while being treated for their injury or illness.
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