Group Health Plan Options for the Self Employed
For years, the majority of self employed individuals found obtaining health care coverage difficult at best. Now, Federal and state laws have provided an easier way for the self employed to care for themselves and their families.
Group Health Plans
If you are self employed and have between 2 and 50 employees, you can qualify for a group health plan. Group health plans come a variety of healthcare options. You can choose a low deductible, a low co-pay, or any combination of covered services. By law, a health insurance company must present all available group health plans for your perusal. This allows you to shop around and select the group health plan that best meets your needs without paying too much.
Self Employed Healthcare Woes (and their solutions)
If you are the sole employee in your business kingdom, you may find it a bit more difficult to get group health insurance. It can be a little lonely all by yourself, so one option is to add your spouse or significant other as an employee. If you don't have a spouse or significant other, you can select a favorite family member or friend. Once you have at least two employees, you can qualify for group health insurance.
Finding Group Health Plans
Another option for the self employed loner it to obtain group health insurance through a professional or trade association. This allows you to spread the cost of health care premiums among participating members and can result in lower out of pocket expenses and monthly healthcare premiums. This may be a good option for smaller businesses that employ only a handful of people as well.
Group Health Insurance for Freelancers
If you are a freelancer in your field, look for a freelancer's union listed by trade or your area. These organizations often offer benefits to members, such as group health insurance. For the price of yearly dues, you can have access to group health care at a reasonable price.
Private Health Insurance
Private insurance is always an option, if your paycheck is large enough to cover the higher premiums. Private insurance, COBRA coverage, and traditional health insurance policies can all be pricey to obtain, maintain, and utilize.
Health Savings Plans
Some self-employed persons opt for a health savings plan in order to get better coverage or lower monthly premiums. However, there are some restrictions on what types of group health plans qualify for a health savings account.
Health savings plans area great way to reduce your overall healthcare costs. Money is deducted directly from your paycheck, before taxes, and placed into an interest bearing account. This money is used to pay for healthcare costs throughout the year and also help reduce your income tax load in the process.
To qualify for a health savings plan, group health plans must have a higher deductible, usually $1000 or more. The money that carries over from year to year in your health savings plan can be used to help pay for higher deductibles and non-covered costs in addition to doctor's bills and prescriptions. A health savings plan is idea for those on a strict budget or those who need to carefully plan out the costs of medical expenses.
Thanks to healthcare reform laws, the self employed now have a variety of viable option to choose from when selecting healthcare coverage. Group health plans are available for nearly every self-employed individual. California law helps protect the self-employed by eliminating some common group health plan problems that once plagued freelancers and small business owners. Now, even the self-employed have access to a variety of affordable group health plans.