You can find affordable health insurance for self-employed people simply by shopping around online. There are an abundance of self-employed health insurance options which are available from different companies. In fact, any company offering individual health insurance plans has exactly what a self-employed individual is looking for. You simply need to get a variety of customized quotes to meet your precise needs and compare the quotes carefully in order to choose the best coverage to meet your needs.
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Self-employed people often seek out individual or family health insurance coverage in the private market, because they do not have the advantage of access to a group plan through an employer. However, you may have access to a group health insurance plan through your spouse, through your parents if you are 26 or under, or through COBRA if you have just lost a job.
Choices for the Self-Employed
What choices will I face? Shopping for affordable health insurance for self-employed people is a challenge. You will find yourself facing choices you have never before considered. Invest some time in educating yourself about health insurance before you start comparing quotes. The website of the Insurance Information Institute can provide you with the education you need.
You have to choose either a health maintenance organization (HMO), preferred provider organization (PPO), fee for service plan, or a point of service (POS) plan. HMOs have a high number of guidelines and care is usually managed by a primary care physician. PPOs offer more freedom in your choice of providers, but you take on more of the financial risk, while POS Plans offer a blend of HMO and PPO features. Fee for service plans give the most choice but often the least amount of coverage, as the insured takes on more of it with deductibles, coinsurance and more.
One of the biggest choices you will face when it comes to health insurance is how much risk you will assume yourself and how much you want the insurer to assume.
The more risk you take on, the lower your health insurance premiums will be. Depending on the coverage you choose, you could still be faced with relatively large medical bills if you are seriously ill or injured.
If you are generally very healthy and rarely visit a doctor, you may want to opt for catastrophic health insurance coverage only. This high deductible health insurance plan means you take on more of the risk, but you save on premiums. If preventative healthcare is important to you, investing in a more comprehensive plan may be a better strategy.
Keeping Health Insurance Rates Down
How do I keep my health insurance rates down? Keeping your health insurance rates down is especially important if you are self-employed and have to pay all the premiums yourself. Luckily, there are a variety of ways to help keep costs under control.
Pay close attention to your health. If you weight is unhealthy, take the steps to lose excess weight. If you are sedentary, become more active. If your lifestyle choices deem you to be high risk, like taking part in extreme sports or smoking, rethink those choices. Those who are unhealthy or make certain choices are high risk for health insurance, so you want to become a better risk in order to get better rates.
State Options for Health Insurance
What state options do I have for health insurance? Throughout the nation, Medicaid is available to those who have a lower income. If you are starting out in your business and are struggling, you may qualify for Medicaid. You will need to apply and get approved for this type of coverage.
The state in which you live may be very helpful in finding health insurance for self-employed people. Five states, including Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Jersey and New York, all have guaranteed issue health insurance, which means you can’t be turned down for coverage. However, this does not guarantee the affordability of such plans, especially if you have preexisting conditions.
In addition, many states throughout the country have high risk pools for those who are ineligible for health insurance on the open market. While these plans also provide a last resort coverage, they are also somewhat expensive.
The best thing to do if you are in the market for health insurance for self-employed people is to shop around carefully comparing the quotes you receive. This is the one tip that will make the biggest difference in how much you end up paying for your health insurance coverage.
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