You've decided to quit your job and start your own business. That's Great! Being self-employed has many advantages. You get to set your own schedule, you don't answer to anyone, you're income is only limited to how hard you work and it's rewarding. However, there are a few drawbacks, namely benefits. Now you have to work 52 weeks per year, setup your own retirement account and find your own health insurance.
Let's talk about the health insurance part. Group health insurance through your employer is easy. Do you want it? Yes or No. Getting individual health insurance is a little tricky. There are many plans available for individuals and self-employed, but which one is right for you and can you qualify.
Comparing health insurance companies and plans. Look for companies you know. There are 100's of fly-by-night companies out there trying to rip people off. Companies like, Blue Cross, Aetna, UniCare and Humana have been around for many years and will be around when you need them. Choose a company you can trust. Each company will offer multiple plans. In general a $2,000 deductible with $25 copay and 20% coinsurance will be a good choice in health plans.
Now, will you be able to qualify? Each company has it's own underwriting criteria. About 20 medical questions will be asked and details will be required for any yes answers. If you have pre-existing conditions, you may not qualify. Some of the major conditions that will not be accepted are: AIDS or HIV, Cancer, Heart Disease or Attack, Coronary Artery Disease and some more. Also, your height and weight are a factor. If you are extremely over weight, you may not qualify. You may want to research your health insurance options well before you actually need them.
It's better to have coverage, even if it's a high deductible, than not have coverage. You probably won't be able to afford the kind of coverage you had with your employer, but you can get an affordable health insurance plan that will provide coverage for major medical. As your budget increases, you can increase your health insurance coverage as well.
It may sound like you are not get very much benefit form the insurance, but you have to remember what insurance is really intended to do. Insurance is intended to protect you, in the event of a catastrophe, from losing your life savings or filing for bankruptcy.
My personal advice is, and this is what I tell my clients...Get a health insurance policy that you can comfortably afford. If you are in good health and never go to the doctor, get a higher deductible plan with limited doctor's office benefit. If you are in poor health, or you have a young child that goes to the doctor often, get a plan with a lower deductible and better doctor's office benefit. Sound like common sense right? Well, it is. You need health insurance coverage unless you live in WinterPark, so get something you can afford and trust.