What the health crisis of 2020 made us realize smack dab is that uncertainties can strike any time. Business owners一especially the self-employed一found themselves either downsizing to cope up with the challenges of the pandemic or losing their livelihood altogether. Or worse, some business owners had to exhaust the business funds because he or one of his family members contracted the dreaded virus.
If there’s one perk of being a salaried employee, that would be obtaining affordable health insurance coverage through employment. Unfortunately, being your own boss can be counterproductive at times一a roadblock even to acquiring health protection of sorts.
This doesn’t mean you don’t have any choices because there are. Here are your options.
1) Your spouse’s plan
Some employers offer their workforce family coverage which means some or all of the family members will be entitled to limited coverage. Your spouse may have to pay a higher premium for the said coverage compared to the other employees. But the thing is, you are covered, which is more important than not being covered at all.
2) Your association’s coverage
Some professional and other special interest groups also offer health coverage that you may partake in. These are called the social health insurance programs in some countries. Since you are already a part of the trading industry, look for trade groups that provide group coverage rates, such as the local association of the self-employed. Another possibility is your church. The best part is that either you obtain health or life insurance this way, it is cheaper because collective rates are used, not individual rates.
3) Your business’s plan
Better yet, if you are a sole entrepreneur who employs at least ten individuals working for you, you may apply for group coverage. The terms and conditions vary from one health insurance provider to another, although providers offer group plans for small business owners with at least five employees.
4) Your ex-employer’s coverage
If you are previously employed and had a good record before your retirement, your ex-employer may allow you to continue paying your premiums through the firm’s coverage. The conditions will vary as well. For instance, your employer may subsidize a certain percentage of your monthly premiums, or it may not. It’s best to ask your former boss about this.
5) Your own policy
If all else fails, you are left with no choice but to purchase your own insurance plan. When shopping for coverage, make sure to compare your insurance options. The right health plan for you will depend on your age and current health condition. The earlier you start, the better. It would be difficult to find a provider if your physical health is already deteriorating, that is, if you are already suffering from a chronic illness, for example.
While at it, compare your choices in terms of monthly premiums, deductibles, annual limits, and co-payments. Make sure that your preferred doctors and medical institutions are within the provider’s network. Switching providers can be costly too.
A self-employed individual gets sick, too. One way to secure your health is to obtain a health policy. While it may be a financial challenge for solopreneurs like you, know that you have options as the above. Of course, you can always choose to purchase your insurance plan, but you can also minimize the monthly costs by participating in group coverages.
Regardless of what you choose, don’t go without health, life insurance, or both. Otherwise, you might regret not obtaining one later on in life when you have to pay for your medical bills solely一with or without a pandemic.