How the self-employed get health insurance

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Just because you are self employed and don’t have access to an employer’s group health insurance — and lower premiums — doesn’t mean you need to buy expensive individual insurance.

You can reap the benefits of less-expensive group premiums by tapping into group health insurance policies of associations and other membership groups. These groups include college or university alumni associations, chamber of commerce, professional organizations and more.

Professional organizations

You probably already belong to a professional association for your field or trade, or a business association. Many trade unions also offer group policies. Most of these organizations offer group health insurance to their members — these policies are typically underwritten by a state-licensed insurance company. A membership organization’s group policy will vary widely from group to group, so do your research before signing up.

Alumni group plans

If you graduated from a university or college, visit the alumni page of the institution’s website to find out if they offer health insurance plans for alumni. Many offer a menu of options including: short-term, major medical, long-term care, dental, disability and even pet health insurance.

Clubs, fraternal and other organizations

Some local chapters of clubs and fraternal organizations, such as Rotary and Lions Clubs, offer discounted group health insurance rates to their members. Also look into other memberships to organizations that you may already have, such as AAA or AARP, which offer group rates to their members.