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Health Insurance for the Self Employed

When you work for a traditional employer, there are some perks. There is vacation days, sick days, access to corporate training events, educational reimbursement, and of course, group health insurance. Group health insurance offered by traditional employers has many benefits. There is no individual underwriting so if you have pre-existing conditions you won’t be denied coverage (although they can impose waiting limits and exclusions for limited periods of time). The coverage is generally less expensive than traditional individual coverage and the plans can be simple plans without deductibles. But when you are self-employed, your options for health insurance are slightly more limited or expensive.

Group insurance: In most states you can take out a group insurance policy for your small business if you have at least 2 employees to cover. Some states even allow you to take out group insurance for groups of just one employee. The smaller your group is, the more expensive coverage may be. Also, although rates are usually protected by rate bands, you could experience premium increases if your group has many health claims.

Individual insurance: If you are in good health, you can always turn to individual health insurance coverage. With individual health insurance, your health history will be considered in pricing and approving the policy so the better your health is the more affordable your policy will be.

Unions: If there is a union or other group associated with the type of work you do, you may be able to join the union and get group health insurance or discounts on individual insurance. Again, your health may play a part if you are looking at discounts on individual health coverage-but if your union offers group coverage then you will not be individually underwritten and you may not have any limitations or exclusions placed on your coverage.

August 3, 2010

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