FIND HEALTH INSURANCE
One of the most difficult tasks as a self-employed individual is to find health insurance that fits your budget and needs. Premiums, especially for family coverage, can threaten your household budget but the fear of large medical bills resulting from a health care emergency can threaten your financial future. With enough research though, its possible to find health insurance that is both affordable and can protect you and your family from unmanageable and unforeseen medical expenses.
There are several ways to find health insurance coverage, but you must approach the task with an open mind. Be aware that most individuals aren’t able to take advantage of large group discounts. This means your premiums may be higher than what you would expect to pay in a large employer sponsored plan or your benefits may not be as comprehensive as those plans offered under group buys. However, with proper planning and tax advice, you can create a situation that is both affordable and financially beneficial.
Begin by finding an insurance company or broker who can offer you several different plans to compare. Compare plans not only within the same company, but from different companies as well. If you elect to find health insurance on your own to replace an existing plan, you need to check with your current physician(s) to see if they will accept your new coverage. Also check with area hospitals to confirm which plans they accept. You should be able to find health insurance that doesn’t interfere with or force you to make changes to your existing medical care.
Comparing premium costs and coverage is not always enough. You must compare prescription coverage benefits as well as co-pay, deductible, and benefit amounts. A reduced premium for a higher deductible is only advantageous if the deductible is within your reach and if the premium costs reflect a significant enough savings to warrant a higher deductible. Prescription coverage is particularly important if you take any medication on a routine basis and have no access to supplemental coverage.
A health insurance agent should take the time to learn your specific circumstances before recommending plans for comparison. They may or may not be able to answer questions regarding tax savings or medical benefits, which will be up to you to compare, but they should be very able to answer questions regarding premiums, deductibles, and coverage limits. Make sure you ask for all information in writing and verify it directly with the insuring company.
With careful comparison, you should be able to find health insurance that meets your budget requirements and provides with adequate coverage and peace of mind. Remember that as your circumstances change, such as the addition of a child or dependent, you will need to update your coverage. Your health insurance plan should be reevaluated annually. Talk to your insurance agent or insuring company if you have specific questions that apply to your situation.
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