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Today, an estimated 42 million people — about a third of the American work force– are self employed in the United States. If you are self employed, finding a health insurance is a big headache. Finding a cheap health insurance for self employed depends on a myriad of factors–where you live, the ages and the health of who is being covered, and the type of policy you need, among other things. Affordable and cheap health insurance is a necessity today. With mediical expenses soaring higher than a hang glider, paying for them could have you digging deep into the pockets of your jeans. Getting cheap health insurance quotes through reputable services saves you time and money! Affordable Health Insurance Quotes are something which is different to different people. It all depends on the health insurance coverage provided within the plan offered. Individual and family health insurance is a type of health insurance coverage that is made available to individuals and families, rather than to employer groups or organizations.
Given the option, most people would prefer to have their employer provide group health insurance coverage. But, if this is not an option for you, it is still important for you to seek coverage. You may be pleasantly surprised with the variety and affordability of the individual and family health insurance options available. We have assembled some of the finest sources of Cheap Health Insurance Quotes. The process is very simple - answer just a few questions and get instant and cheap health insurance quotes or medical insurance quotes from several leading and reputed health insurance companies!
For countless self-employed workers, though, health insurance is simply not within their means. Help is on the way. The Affordable Care Act, now the the 2010 health-care reform law, is intended to tackle this problem beginning in 2014. That’s when if you’re under 65, you will be able to purchase health insurance through state insurance exchanges, with tax credits for those with low and moderate incomes. And if you have a pre-existing condition, you’ll be able to land a policy. For now, here’s one piece of good news. If you’re self-employed and pay health insurance premiums, you can deduct 100% of the cost from your income when calculating your federal income taxes. The deduction is not subject to the 7.5% AGI limitation that other medical expenses are.
Eight ways to land self-employed health insurance:
Ex-employer’s plan. If you’re retiring, count your lucky stars if this is an option. Most workers don’t have it. One of the biggest hurdles is figuring out how to pay for health insurance until 65 — the magical age when Medicare kicks in. Medicare will cover the majority, but not all, health care costs. Among large firms (200 or more workers) about one in four offered retiree health benefits in 2011, down significantly from 32% in 2007, and a far cry from the whopping 66% who offered retirees health bennies in 1988, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation/ Research & Educational Trust survey. And only 6 percent of small firms offered retiree health benefits last year. Some companies let retired workers buy health insurance through the company plan. They might even subsidize a portion of the premiums. If not, it can be pricey. A Towers Watson survey of 552 of the nation’s largest employers found that retirees under age 65 pay an average of $633 per month for individual coverage and $1,633 monthly for family coverage. Current employees with similar coverage were paying $432 and $1,249, respectively. Moreover, most companies hold the right to alter or cancel the coverage at any time.
A spouse’s plan. Some freelancers, like me, are fortunate enough to have an insured partner with an employer who offers family coverage. Thanks, Time-Warner! Your spouse will pay a higher premium for family coverage, but it will still be less than an individual policy. Annual premiums for employer-sponsored family health coverage increased to $15,073 ($5,429 for single coverage) last year, up 9% from 2010, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation/Health Research & Educational Trust. On average, workers pay $4,129 and employers pay $10,944 toward those annual premiums. Some plans won’t let participants add a relative until open enrollment season, typically in November or December. Try to delay your retirement or resigning until you can be added on.
COBRA. Under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, employers are required by federal law to offer COBRA carry-over health and dental coverage for up to 18 months for you and your dependents when you leave your job. The upside is you don’t have to be concerned about preexisting conditions being covered. But it’s expensive. The entire cost of the insurance comes out of your own pocket, plus a 2% administrative fee. Ouch. If you have time before you leave your job, switch to the least expensive health plan during the open enrollment period near your departure date. That way you will have lower premiums when you’re picking up the tab. For more information about COBRA coverage, go to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Join a professional group. Some professional and trade groups, such as a bar association, your church or alumni associations offer health insurance with group coverage rates. Other possibilities: If you’re over 50, AARP.org, is worth exploring. Or research what’s available through a special interest group you’re a member. If you are running a small business, you might check with your local Chamber of Commerce, the Small Business Service Bureau (sbsb.com). In addition, The National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE.org) offers insurance plans. If you live in New York State, for example, The Freelancers Union offers insurance through the Freelancers Insurance Company (F.I.C.). It currently covers about 25,000 independent workers and their family members and offers premiums that are reportedly a third below market rates. Individual plans might run from $225 to $600 per month.
Purchase your own policy. One option for self-employed folks who are in decent health is to sign-up for policies with low premiums and high deductibles, opting for insurance that kicks in for catastrophic illness. You can compare a variety of insurance options in your area at healthcare.gov. Options to consider: premiums, deductibles, co-pays, coinsurance, and the annual limit you have to pay out-of-pocket before insurance covers the remainder. “Importantly, check to see if your preferred doctors are in-network,” advises Financial Planner Bitz.
Pre-existing condition plans. If you have existing medical problems, many states have high-risk pool programs that can help. If you have been uninsured for six months, have a pre-existing condition, and have been denied coverage, you may be eligible for insurance through a pre-existing condition insurance plan, or PCIP. Every state is required by law to have a PCIP. You might also check into to a “guaranteed issue” plan. For more details about your state’s laws, visit statehealthfacts.org.
Set up a small business group plan. If you hire an employee (your spouse, for instance) you may be eligible to buy a small group insurance plan. This could come in handy, if you have a pre-existing condition. Some states require that health insurers offer guaranteed issue group health plans to small groups. And, presumably, that means that your group can’t be turned down, even if the group has members with health issues. You’ll probably need an insurance broker to help set this up. Some states also have health benefits associations that provide insurance for small-business owners with at least two employees. Go to naic.org for help.
Stay employed. Contemplate getting a part-time job where you can earn enough money to pay for your health benefits. Working just 20 hours a week may also qualify you for group health benefits with some employers. Don’t get your hopes up, though, a meager 16% of all firms that offer health benefits provide them to part-time workers.
Self Employed Health Insurance Update