We all want to be in perfectly good health forever, but we can’t anticipate the future. The best thing you can do is take the time to find the right among the available health insurance plans now, while you’re healthy. This is more required if you don’t want to worry about what the future will bring. Here’s how to find the best plan for future entrepreneurs.
1. Start with the Healthcare Marketplace
Your first line of defense when searching for the right plan should be the Healthcare Marketplace. This is where you can learn about the federal and state programs near you. For most, this includes the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare. Under Obamacare, self-employed people can find affordable health insurance plans.
You can also find local health insurance options from private providers using Healthmarkets. Once again, you’ll search your state to see what’s available in your region. Depending on your situation, you might only qualify for an independent plan through a private provider. Either way, you have options to choose the right amount of coverage for your budget and health.
2. Transition with COBRA
Are you planning on transitioning into self-employment from another employer? If so, you might want to keep your current coverage while you get started as an entrepreneur. With COBRA coverage, you can hang onto that employer plan for a limited amount of time.
While you can expect to pay more for COBRA coverage, it’s a good way to keep your coverage active during your transition period to self-employment. As an entrepreneur, you might want some extra time to find a plan that’s right for you.
3. Consider Association Benefits
Finally, if you’re in an existing industry, you might be able to get coverage through an association. These allow members of professional and local organizations to purchase coverage as a group which keeps costs low for all members.
This is more inclusive than you think. You can find coverage through the National Association for the Self-Employed as well as the Freelancers Union. If you’re already in a professional or local industry organization, check to see if they offer any types of health insurance coverage. Of course, you’ll be expected to pay membership fees in addition to insurance fees, but this is as close to traditional employer coverage as you’re going to get.
In the next few years, we can expect to see more entrepreneur coverage for those in these types of groups. This is already a popular option in many fields. For instance, the Writers Guild offers excellent coverage for those who write for TV and movies. As more people choose to start their own businesses both large and small, this will likely become a bigger trend.
Not having insurance is never a good idea. No matter how healthy you think you are, take the time now to find a health insurance plan that offers some form of coverage. Whether you choose to continue your employer coverage through COBRA or search the health insurance marketplace, don’t risk your health for your business.
It’s unfortunate that so many would-be entrepreneurs let the fear of losing health coverage keep them from achieving their business goals. Don’t let that be you. Use these options above to make sure you don’t have any gaps in coverage.
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