8 healthcare options for entrepreneurs on a budget
One thing entrepreneurs worry about is whether they can obtain quality healthcare for themselves and their families. With rising costs of healthcare in our country, and no employer to split the bill with them, entrepreneurs are faced with difficult choices as it relates to their healthcare needs.
When the choice is between paying rent/mortgage or paying for expensive healthcare… many entrepreneurs choose to bet on their health. Going without healthcare may work for a while, but that’s a huge risk to take. First, you never know when you’ll have a medical emergency. And, second… it is no secret that medical expenses continue to be the number one cause of personal bankruptcy in our nation. Instead of going without coverage… here are a few affordable options you should look into.
8 healthcare options for entrepreneurs on a budget:
1. Look For Reasonable Rates From Insurance Companies. I currently am enrolled in Aetna health insurance at $100 per month. This includes dental, vision, and other medical. -Kevin Simpson
2. Seek Out Health Insurance Programs Offered By Your State. I had looked into traditional plans for my family (myself, my wife, and 2 kids), but found that we weren’t able to be covered due to pre-existing conditions. Fortunately, we were able to obtain health insurance through a state program (we live in New Mexico) which was created by the state legislature specifically for small businesses. We pay 100% of the premiums as an employee benefit; paying through the corporation saves me probably 30%-40% compared to if I had to pay the premiums from personal vs. corporate funds. Despite the high monthly premiums, I feel fortunate to have health insurance, since medical costs are the top cause of personal bankruptcies in the U.S. -Greg Miliates
3. Explore Health Coverage Offered By The Chamber of Commerce. My husband and I worked together at our small company for many years (I started it in 1986 and he joined me in 1989). For a few years, we purchased HMO coverage through our local Chamber of Commerce, but it was very expensive. We then switched to a major medical plan with a high deductible ($5000) paired with an accident policy. -Karen Zilora
4. Think About Going The HSA Route. As a small businessman myself, I’ve opted for an individual health plan that is HSA qualified, which allows me to put aside money tax-free to pay for health expenses. The additional tax advantages of an HSA are appealing to many entrepreneurs. -Alex Forrest
5. Consider Emergency Health Coverage. I’m working as a 1099 in New York City. I’ve discovered that catastrophic health insurance is the best bet. It offers a high deductible and low monthly payments. -Frank Wolson
6. Look Into Joining A Union/Association for Entrepreneurs. Being without insurance was not an option. Both my husband and I had some underlying health issues that made coverage with main-stream insurers difficult. I joined the National Association for the Self-Employed where there are a number of option including full coverage with ad ons to a basic major medical policy. One of the wonderful features of the policy is that it allows us to choose any provider in the country. This means for specialty care, we can choose the best, and the most experienced. The downside is having to pay the $70 per month membership fee. -Priscilla Dakin
7. Speak With An Insurance Broker To Understand Your Options. Over the last 10 years, even before being an owner of my own business, I have struggled with the health insurance drama. I have always been a subcontractor for any company I worked for and of course was not qualified to receive benefits. In arizona there are a couple of companies that work specifically with the self-employed and small businesses and create a large group out of all of them. I would suggest speaking with an insurance broker who deals with health insurance and have them help you find the best insurance as they will have insight to each company’s requirements. -Tiffany Powell
8. Other Options…As a health insurance agent I work with a number of entrepreneurs, who have chosen different options, including a small group plan through the business, individual health insurance plans (almost always cheaper if they’re healthy), and short-term health plans (which is even cheaper, and involves much less underwriting if there are medical concerns). -Alex Forrest
There are several healthcare options available to entrepreneurs…but some are obviously more affordable than others. Let the list above help you find the best healthcare options for you and your family.