When you’re employed at a traditional company, you’re offered a benefits package. This package consists of non-wage compensation that supplements your salary. For most organizations, this includes health care, paid time off, disability insurance, life insurance, a retirement package, legally mandated employee benefits, and any other benefits a company decides to offer.
Most young, successful entrepreneurs wouldn’t trade their situation for any traditional company’s salary or benefits package. However, it’s one thing to make ends meet and live a great lifestyle; it’s entirely another to find your own healthcare, get life insurance, and save for retirement all on your own.
Let’s explore the process of creating a healthcare benefits package if you’re rocking life as an entrepreneur.
• Don’t delay
No, seriously. This is easier said than done, but even healthy and successful — especially healthy and successful — entrepreneurs tend to sleep on getting insurance. They don’t think anything bad will happen if they don’t. Yet, days can turn into weeks which can turn into months. Being uninsured is dangerous.
As an entrepreneur, you are your own business.... the literal living breathing embodiment of it. If you get sick or injured, both your business and livelihood will take a crucial hit. It will also make it much harder to find an option. Having a health insurance plan is essential.
• Consider COBRA insurance
If you’re an entrepreneur who is leaving a 9-to-5 job right now, COBRA is an option. COBRA stands for the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act which gives departing employees the opportunity to continue paying premiums on their health insurance. By doing this, you’ll keep your existing plan for up to 36 months.
You should note that COBRA is often more expensive than any other plan available. This is because you’ll pay the entire cost of your old company’s group plan (the amount you paid plus the amount your employer paid plus the administrative costs). To keep these benefits, you must contact your health insurance company within 60 days of leaving your current job.
Not all individuals are eligible for COBRA. It often depends on whether you’re being fired or quitting as well as your insurance plan.
• Check the healthcare marketplace
The government’s website Healthcare.gov — also called the healthcare marketplace — is an entire page dedicated to self-employed citizens. This is where you can go to find insurance on your own.
To get started, go to Healthcare.gov to fill out the application to see if you qualify for “premium tax credits and other savings” on your health plan.
You can also use the site to find options for health insurance plans based on your location. You’ll then be able to research the companies and the coverage it provides. Be careful, though! The average person chooses a plan they don't fully understand, and end up with the cheapest or one that looks the best . Be weary of high deductibles, small networks (hurts people the most who like to travel or have specific doctors they like to use), rate changes, Rx (prescription) only plans, and exclusions.
• Reach out to a professional
All of these options covers freelancers, consultants, independent contractors, self-employed workers, entrepreneurs, and everyone in-between! However, just because you can find coverage on the marketplace, or it's easier to transition to Cobra for a few months, doesn’t necessarily mean that you love the options that you’re seeing, or that those are the best options for you.
If you’ve already gone through this process and are looking for a new solution, consider reaching out to a professional health insurance expert who works with all of the above, including muliple A-rated carriers on the private side. I proudly work in this niche and routinely save successful 6 and 7-figure entrepreneurs anywhere from 30 to 50 percent on their health insurance while enhancing their coverage, improving their benefits, and expanding their network. If you are wanting freedom in your plan with low deductibles, 100% co-insurance, comprehensive coverages, and no contracts, these options are waiting for you!
Taking on the task of getting health insurance can seem overwhelming. While COBRA provides an interim option and the healthcare marketplace allows you to get covered, they don’t necessarily offer the best benefits. That’s where I come in! Contact me today to get more information about how you get covered AND save.