Finding your own health insurance when you’re self-employed can be a huge challenge. Finding the right plan at the right price can take some time. And, of course, in that research time, you run the risk of serious illness or injury. If that misfortune occurs, you will have a pre-existing condition, which will severely limit your ability in finding coverage that’s affordable, or anything at all!
Following the plan I’ve outlined below will help you to find the right coverage for you and your family, in a relatively short period of time.
Start your research online, because you can get a lot of information quickly. You will find hundreds of different sites with free quotes and multiple options for your health insurance plan. There is a lot of competition in insurance, so the websites are set up to attract you from the start by being easy to use. Use any of the major search engines to find these sites, starting by entering ‘e-health insurance’ or ‘self-employed insurance.’
Go to several of the sites to get free quotes at those that offer this service. It’s simple to just enter your zip code, age, etc., and you will get quotes from 1 to 4 companies in just a few minutes. Then you can compare the plans and see the advantages in coverage and price for each plan. Your main goal is just to get information, but go ahead and apply if you find a plan that is perfect for you.
Once you have finished your online research, call or go to local and regional insurance providers. With your online research, you will have a knowledge base to evaluate the deals the local provider offers you. In person, the company might offer better deals than what you found online, or they might be similar or worse. Your online research will give you the background you need to evaluate what you’re offered in person.
Be sure, too, to talk with people you know; ask what insurance they have and whether they buy it individually or are enrolled in a group plan. Your family, friends and neighbors can tell you about the advantages and disadvantages of working with specific companies.
You’ve gotten good information about plans, coverage and prices through your research, but the information on customer service can only come from your contacts. They can tell you about the reality of working with specific companies.
One cost-cutting measure to consider is to exclude prescription and dental coverage. You might want to choose a plan that excludes those, and instead put the money you would have spent for that special insurance coverage into a savings account. You can use those funds to pay for dental costs and prescriptions, rather than paying the insurance fees.
Once you complete your research, you will be shocked at the cost. Yet, you will know that you have found the best possible coverage for you.
Lila Norden combines 14 years experience in education and consulting to offer valuable information, helping you make decisions about your education and career. Visit the web site FP Employment for additional articles and resources.