For self-employed entrepreneurs, cutting costs through informed shopping is a necessity in everyday business. Finding the best quotes for your self-employeed health insurance plan is no different than other informed decisions you make on a daily basis. There are tax credits to consider. Is budget most important? Which health coverage benefits do you really need? Consider the following questions:
Who will be covered under a self-employed plan?
Why it matters: You probably want to cover yourself and your dependents. But ask yourself: does anyone in your family have other coverage options? In some cases, you may actually be able to save money by covering different members of your family separately under two or more plans.
Do you maintain a significant savings cushion or do you live paycheck to paycheck?
Why it matters: If you don’t maintain a cushion of funds in the bank, you may want a health plan with a lower deductible. If you do keep a savings cushion large enough to afford a higher deductible, you may be able to find a plan with lower monthly premiums.
How often did you visit the doctor last year?
Why it matters: If you visit regularly, it may make sense to pay a higher monthly premium in order to keep your office visit co-payment and deductible low. If you rarely visit the doctor, a plan with higher co-payments may cost less per month.
How much did you spend on health care last year?
Not just your self-employed health insurance premiums, but everything, including deductibles, and other out of pocket costs.
Why it matters: It’s important to know what you spend on healthcare and if you expect to spend at the same pace. If these are recurring costs (for prescription drugs, for example) make sure that the plan you select covers these services at a level that’s affordable for you.
Are you eligible for group health insurance coverage?
Why it matters: In most states, self-employed persons buying health insurance plans on their own need to purchase individual and family plans. However, some states may allow persons with business licenses to purchase small business/group plans, even without employees. A small business/group plan may be a more affordable option than individual and family plans in some cases. To learn more about group health insurance, skip to the “Small Business Owner” section of this guide. Find out if you qualify for group health insurance by contacting your state Department of Insurance.
Are any specific benefits necessary or irrelevant?
Why it matters: If you’re a regular user of prescription medication, make sure you find a plan that covers prescriptions at a co-payment level you can afford. If it’s possible you or your spouse could become pregnant, pay close attention. Determine how much you would need to spend from your own pocket for maternity care.
Step. 2 Comparing Your Insurance Coverage Options
Getting Quotes and Researching the Best Benefits
Before you can compare your individual and family health insurance options you’ll need to know what your choices really are. If you want to save money and make the most of your health insurance dollars, you’ll need the broadest possible view of the health plans available. By working with an authorized online marketplace like Shop Insurance Plans you can save time and get a selection of quotes from top insurance companies in your area.
Step. 3 Applying for Coverage
The Enrollment Process
Once you’ve selected the health insurance plan you’d like, you’re ready to enroll. Enrolling in coverage is pretty easy, but here are some things you should know:
Open Enrollment Season
Under the Affordable Care Act, there’s an annual open enrollment period during which almost anyone can apply for coverage through an individual or family health insurance plan. The nationwide open enrollment period typically runs from November 1 through January 31. Coverage under a new plan selected during open enrollment generally begins no sooner than the first of the year. Outside of the open enrollment period, you may only be able to purchase Obamacare-compliant health insurance coverage when you experience a qualifying life event. Read on to learn more.
Shop Insurance Plans recommends health insurance policy holders take a fresh look at their medical coverage during open enrollment to make sure they still have the right plan for their needs and budget. To give your health insurance coverage a checkup, ask yourself the following questions:
Am I paying too much for coverage?
If you’re healthy and had few or no health insurance claims in the past year, you may be able to reduce your monthly premiums by switching to a plan with a higher deductible. If you do switch to a higher deductible plan, be sure you can afford that deductible in case of an accident or unexpected illness.
Does my current plan cover the services I need?
If you find that you’re paying too much out of pocket for recurring medical services or prescription drugs, you may want to consider a plan that covers these at a higher level, even if your monthly premium increases.
Have I experienced any big life changes?
If you were recently married or divorced, had a child, or gained or lost income — or if you anticipate these things happening in the year to come — it may be time to reconsider your health insurance options. Take a look at quotes from other health insurance companies in your area to make sure you’re not paying too much.
Do I have access the doctors I want to see?
If you’d like to be seen by a specific doctor or hospital not covered by your current plan, ShopInsurancePlans.com can help you find out which health plans that
doctor or hospital accepts. If you’re on an HMO plan and want to be able to see a specialist without a referral, you may want to consider a different type of coverage — like a PPO or EPO plan, for example.
Source data according to eHealth: health insurance for entrepreneurs, buyers-guide 2018