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Health Insurance Options for the Self-Employed

Date: 05/21/2007 | Category: Business | Author: Diana Heeb Bivona

Many people often hesitate about starting their own business for fear that they will not have good health insurance coverage or that it simply won’t be affordable.  Therefore, it wouldn’t be too surprising to believe that many of the estimated 40 million Americans who don’t have health insurance, are probably entrepreneurs or people employed at small companies.

If you are concerned about health insurance as a small business owner or entreprenuer, there are options to consider:

  1. If you are just striking out and the company you are leaving offers continuation of your insurance under COBRA then consider using it.  Under COBRA, you can continue your coverage for up to 18 months which should provide you with enough time to search for other options. 
  2. Some states offer health-insurance programs for home-based and small businesses. Check with your state’s insurance department for more information.
  3. Talk to a broker about insurance policies that are tailored for individuals. Be sure to compare several policies with comparable benefits to see which you prefer.
  4. Check into health insurance provide by trade associations or small business organizations such as the National Association of the Self-Employed (NASE). 
  5. Take a look at health savings accounts (HSA).  While its not health insurance, it is a savings plan that offers an alternate way for consumers to pay for their health care. HSAs enable you to pay for current health expenses and save or invest for future qualified medical and retiree health expenses on a tax-free basis. 
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