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Health Insurance Options for the Self-Employed

One of the main challenges in considering whether to make the switch over to becoming self-employed is finding reasonably priced health insurance quotes. Currently there are a few ways in which those who are self-employed can receive health insurance for themselves and their families without breaking the bank.

Starting Out
If you’ve been working for an employer who offers health coverage already and then decide to strike out on your own, you can take advantage of COBRA. COBRA is the federally-mandated Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act which requires all employers to grant the continuance of insurance coverage for departing employees. Although this option is only available at the out-of-pocket expense of the employees, and is not a permanent solution (COBRA is only available for the first 18 months after severance), this federal mandate can be a great way to ease the transition from employee to self-employed.

Private Coverage
Although it’s nice to know COBRA exists, the expense of insurance continuance may surprise many families, especially for more comprehensive plans. There are many affordable options out there from private insurers for the self-employed which might cost quite a bit less than COBRA in the long run.

One great piece of news about health care coverage for the self-employed is that the monthly premiums count as a deductible expense. Better than that, they can be deducted even for those who do not practice the lengthy process of itemizing their deductions, so the procedure is really quite simple. Other health care expenses may also be deductible if itemizing, so a change in the way you do your taxes may be worth considering once you switch over to being self-employed.

Comparison Shopping
The only truly effective way to discover what kind of coverage is available to you now that you’re self-employed, and decide which plan is the right balance between cost and coverage, is by comparing different providers. If you’ve been covered by an employer for the past several years, you may be surprised at how affordable health insurance has become. There are a wide range of plans available for either individuals or families that can fit nearly any circumstance or budget.


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