One of the major reasons many Americans forgo their entrepreneurial dreams is because of health insurance. Some don’t know how to purchase health insurance. Others can’t afford private health insurance. And there’s a growing population of citizens with chronic conditions and their employer health insurance provides better benefits than private health insurance. So what are your health insurance options for entrepreneurs? I’ll provide a few tips, including one I used.
Health Insurance Options For Entrepreneurs: Join Your Spouse’s Health Insurance
The first option for health insurance options for entrepreneurs is to join your spouse’s health insurance policy. Now, this only works if you have a spouse or partner who has health insurance. He or she could have a policy through their employer or even their own private health insurance policy.
Depending on the type of plan this option works outside of Open Enrollment because losing health insurance usually qualifies as a life event. Thus, you could keep coverage and not experience a gap. Before you go this route check with your spouse’s policy first. Their policy could have specific guidelines to follow. Oh, don’t wait too long to join the policy! You usually only have 60 days to join your spouse’s health insurance due to a life event.
Health Insurance Options For Entrepreneurs: Purchase Private Health Insurance
The second option is to purchase private health insurance. This is the route I took because I’m single. This could be a good option for you if you’re willing to put in the time. However, be prepared for a sticker shock.
I say that because there are many health insurance companies offering these plans in different states. The prices will be different as well as the covered benefits. I spent quite a bit of time determining which policy would work best for me from the different insurance companies in my state.
Regarding the sticker shock private health insurance is usually the most expensive because of the risk to the insurance company. Unlike employer-based health insurance plans, private health insurance usually covers one person or a small family. And if those individuals have expensive claims the health insurance will pay out more, and when the policy renews the premium is probably going to increase too.
The best way I found to keep premiums low when it comes to these plans is to purchase a plan with a high deductible. I consider this as a catastrophic plan because preventive care is covered 100% and I don’t get sick as often. Really, I’m saving money on my premiums in exchange for a higher deductible I will use if I’m in a horrible accident or need expensive treatment (like for cancer or heart surgery).
Consider Purchasing A Plan From The Healthcare Marketplace
The final option of health insurance options for entrepreneurs I’ll recommend is to purchase a plan from the Healthcare Marketplace. You can find out if you’re eligible for a discounted plan due to your income. And this could be great for many entrepreneurs because our incomes are usually low for the first couple of years (unless your business takes off).
This marketplace is also a good option for those needing to purchase small business health insurance for themselves and their employees. Or if you’re a solopreneur then there are options for you too.
You can fill out the forms online to see if you’re eligible or you can contact the Healthcare Marketplace via phone. Finally, you can talk to an individual locally for assistance.