What you need to know
Escaping the cubicle universe can be a blast, but the bloom of self-employment also contains a thorn: finding health insurance. Where should you start?
Ensure the best rate possible by following these steps:
First, consider the roads most traveled. Many entrepreneurs transition to private health insurance by taking advantage of the federal Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, more commonly known as COBRA.
COBRA is a program that allows employees to remain on their old company’s insurance plan for up to 18 months after leaving the job.
Other entrepreneurs find that piggybacking onto their spouse’s insurance plan is the cheapest and easiest option.
There are also individual insurance plans. Although they’re often pricier and less convenient than group plans, a little homework and comparison shopping may help you find a cheaper plan.
Here are several questions to ask when policy-shopping:
- Will your doctors/hospitals be included?
- Is the carrier licensed in your state?
- Can you afford the policy’s premiums?
- Does the policy cover items you need, such as vision or dental?
- Pros and cons of private health insurance
- Individual health insurance: reader tales
- Life after a layoff: Health insurance
- The dirty dozen: small-business deductions
- Finding small business health insurance
- What health care reform delivers in 2010
- Evaluating a health insurance plan
- Post COBRA health insurance options
- Examining the health insurance company