Health Insurance for the Small Business Owner or the Unemployed

Do you own your own business, or freelance? Are you working part-time and, therefore, not eligible for benefits? Health insurance is extremely important as healthcare costs are going through the roof. One of the ways to get health insurance is to join a trade association or some kind of formal group that provides health insurance for it’s members. The American Automobile Association (AAA) offers short term medical insurance for between 30 – 185 days which is cheaper than COBRA. This is a good way to keep yourself insured without breaking the bank (crucial at a time when saving every penny counts). They also offer permanent insurance for college students (up to age 63). This is great for students who can’t go on their parent’s plan as dependents, or are international students, and can be a cheaper alternative to the college health insurance plans. eHealth Insurance offers quotes for comparison for people seeking insurance for themselves and their families. It allows you the flexibility to determine your deductible, compare coinsurance rates and see what your monthly payments will be. offers you the same options as well as links to websites that offer risk pools (insurance for people who cannot get insurance because of their medical/pre-existing conditions, or a change in their circumstances that makes them ineligible for benefits).

Freelancers can join the National Association of the Self-Employed (NASE) and join their Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) that allows you to write off 100% of your medical expenses, including the cost of the health insurance premium. Health Savings Accounts (HSA) are another way to go. You would have to pay a deductible but you get pre-tax savings. and Samaritan Ministries, offer a medical sharing program that covers bills by having a group of people pool money to help each other pay for medical costs. People make a monthly contribution and can choose from several plans. You will want to check if this option is available in your state. You will also want to compare the benefits you get to the regular insurance rates and see if this is an option that will work for you.

Your chamber of commerce, trade association, or parenting club or organization are always good places to start in your quest for affordable insurance. Stay healthy and prosper.

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