When I first became self-employed five years ago, I thought it was great, but I did think my employer should offer better benefits. If you don’t have a boss, what do you do for insurance?
There are several places where benefits for the self-employed can be found, though they will vary a little from region to region. There are many companies that offer “catastrophic” coverage- meaning a high yearly deductible, with full or nearly-full coverage after you have met that deductible. These are easy to get if you are generally healthy already. While that sounds contradictory, it’s still useful even if you don’t meet the deductible. These plans offer prescription discounts as well as office visit discounts that work like a typical co-pay. My co-pay is $35, which sounds high, but a regular office visit would be $50.
There are varying deductibles for these plans, and the price per month goes up the lower your deductible is. My deductible is $2,500 per year, and I have only reached that once. Even if you never reach the deductible, the discounts may be enough to make these plans worthwhile. In addition to the discounts, you can be assured that you will be able to pay if something catastrophic really does happen. If I were to get into a car wreck, catch a hideous disease or need an organ transplant, I am covered 100 percent of the amount once I reach the yearly deductible. And at hospital prices, my deductible would likely be reached on the first day.
Two companies that I highly recommend for their affordability and their coverages are Assurant Health and Golden Rule. You can contact these companies directly or go through an insurance agent. Going through an agent does not make the policy more expensive, and an agent can help you pick a policy that is best for your situation.
A good place to find an agent is by going to Dave Ramsey’s website and finding agents that he endorses. If you have not listened to Dave Ramsey- he has a radio show in which he dispenses financial advice, including information on insurance. He endorses local providers after they have agreed to his rules, which includes not selling policies that he knows to be bad deals. Finding one of his endorsed providers takes a lot of the guesswork out of deciding whether a policy is worth the money. For instance, his endorsed agents can not sell most dental plans to people who contact the agent as an ELP because the plans are almost always high priced and have little return.
Prices for health insurance vary wildly state by state because of state insurance regulations, but in many states, there are enough inexpensive plans that you can pick and choose which one is right for you. Moreover, choosing a health insurance policy is just like choosing auto insurance. Owning a specialist or modified vehicle can make securing comprehensive insurance more of a challenge, similarly, your medical conditions and medical records will determine the premium that you have to pay in order to get yourself insured.