Self Employed Medical Insurance: The Essentials Made Easy

There are insurance products available that provide self employed medical insurance just the same as if you were buying auto insurance, life insurance or home insurance.

Self Employed Medical insurance: The Essentials Made Easy

If you are leaving a job where you have medical insurance, an easy interim first step would be to continue that medical insurance coverage under the Consolidated Budget Reconciliation Act or COBRA.COBRA allows you to continue your medical benefits up to eighteen months after leaving your employer. COBRA can be expensive, however, because your former employer no longer pays their part of the premium. However, COBRA can be a good "placeholder" health insurance option while you shop around for the self-employed medical insurance program best suited to your needs.

One tool in the search for self employed medical insurance is to use a broker to help match you with the appropriate policy. This will allow you to search for a policy that fits your specific coverage requirements, and allows you to save on premiums by excluding benefits you don't need. For example, a single man does not need maternity benefits, and omitting that provision from his self-employed medical insurance will lower his premium. And if you and your family have a history of good health, you may save by opting for a policy with a high deductible.  (As always when using the services of a broker, investigate their reputation first. This is often easiest to do if you choose somebody local.)

Many self-employed people choose to combine a high deductible individual self-employed medical insurance plan with a tax-free HSA (health savings account). A set amount of your pre-tax income is deposited into your HSA. You then use the HSA for medical expenses that aren't covered by your insurance.

The right self-employed medical insurance policy for you also depends on the size of your business.  If you are in business alone, with no employees, the individually written policy will probably best suit your needs. If you are currently working solo but anticipate hiring employees in the future, a temporary policy could be the best way to get coverage in the interim. A temporary policy is inexpensive and doesn't require a long term commitment. However, it is not a substitute for permanent self employed medical insurance.

If you are self-employed and have between two and fifty people on your payroll, you likely qualify for and benefit most from a group health insurance plan.

If you have health issues, find out if your state allows medical underwriting, where a health insurance company can exclude coverage for certain pre-existing health conditions, or can charge people in these health circumstances an extremely high premium. There are many states that outlaw the practice of medical underwriting.

Be sure that whatever policy you decide upon protects you in case of catastrophic or emergency health events. The lack of medical insurance in those situations has driven many people to bankruptcy.


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