Self- Employed Health Insurance
Anyone that is legally considered self-employed will likely need to consider obtaining health insurance at one point or another
. While individuals that are employed by large corporations or agencies have little to worry about when it comes to qualifying for affordable, comprehensive health insurance, it is a different story for the self-employed.
Individuals that will need to consider self-employed health insurance include anyone that is a freelancer or contractor with other companies, or sole proprietor of a small business. While anyone in this situation would certainly benefit from a spouse that has access to employer-offered health care, unfortunately this is a benefit that is continually being cut from a number of employer's budgets.
Many health insurance companies offer health insurance specifically targeted to individuals who are self-employed. While these policies generally offer adequate coverage, they are usually quite expensive. In addition, anyone with a pre-existing condition may be denied coverage, offered a policy with an astronomical premium, or given a policy that excludes coverage for a pre-existing condition with the addition of riders.
Depending on your particular business type, there may be another option available that will allow you to obtain group health insurance. Look into any organizations that are relevant to your occupation and business type, as these sometimes offer members the opportunity to sign up for group coverage. Also check out the local Chamber of Commerce as well for any leads.
In this case, look into the relevant organizations and request information about the offered health insurance plan or plans. Compare the plans and take into account the membership fee, which may be as low as $25 per year, or as high as $500. Membership fees obviously have an effect on whether or not the plan is actually feasible and a good deal for your circumstances.
For anyone looking for self-employed health insurance plans independently, there are a number of different plans to consider. HMO, or Health Maintenance Organization, coverage is often the most affordable option, offering comprehensive care. However, this type of plan requires consumers to obtain approval for all care from a Primary Care Physician, and only covers in-network services.
A PPO, or Preferred Provider Organization, is the most flexible plan, allowing for patients to choose their own providers. Specialists may be visited whether they are in- or out- of network without prior approval from the health insurance provider. However, out-of-network care comes with increased out-of-pocket expenses.
POS, or Point of Service, Plans, combines the best of the HMO and PPO options. Consumers still choose a Primary Care Physician within their plan's network, as with the HMO. However, like the PPO, services are still covered (at least to an extent) at both in-network and out-of-network providers.
Individuals that are healthy and without pre-existing conditions will find the process of obtaining reasonable and comprehensive self employed health insurance relatively easy. However, those with pre-existing conditions may need to look to state or federal programs to assist them in obtaining health coverage. Either way, self-employed health insurance is a necessity for all.
by: Casey Trillbar
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