Insurance Options for Entrepreneurs: What You Should Know

Health Insurance
Tips on choosing health Insurance


Insurance Options for Entrepreneurs

Creating and building a successful business is hard work, but finding an affordable and quality health insurance plan can be easy. Whether you are self-employed or a small business owner with a handful of employees, investing in health insurance for you and your company is essential.


Why You Need Insurance

Despite these workers quickly becoming a significant portion of the labor force, as many as one in four self-employed workers lack proper health insurance coverage. Older employees may even start thinking about life insurance coverage as health conditions become more prominent. As an entrepreneur, health insurance offers three-fold protection for yourself and your business by:

  • Protecting your finances: Health insurance allows you to experience discounted rates for medical care and shields you from unexpected medical costs. Investing in health insurance can also save you from an Affordable Care Act tax penalty as long as you maintain qualifying coverage without an unpermitted gap.
  • Protecting your health: As a health insurance plan member, you will have access to a broader health care provider network and critical care providers. You can also take advantage of regular checkups and preventive care for a healthier lifestyle. Just like retirement planning, having access to a range of care providers is crucial for protecting your health.
  • Protecting your business: An unexpected medical cost can impact your ability to run your business. Limiting your liability for medical expenses can keep your business afloat. You can also use health insurance to hire and retain employees by offering them a total compensation package.

How to Get Health Insurance as an Entrepreneur

Several health insurance plans are available, whether you need individual or group health insurance. Some offer many care choices, while others aim to keep costs in check by limiting you to a set number of doctors and hospitals. The option that will work best for you largely depends on the level of coverage you require and how much you are willing to spend. Some of the top coverage options for entrepreneurs are:

1. Health Care Marketplace

HealthCare.gov is the primary option for many entrepreneurs and small businesses interested in purchasing insurance. If you have difficulty choosing an option, you can look into several online services to help you navigate and find plans quickly and easily.

2. COBRA

If you were under a health care plan from an employer, parent, or spouse, you can continue to use your health care coverage for an additional 36 months with this plan. However, COBRA is often more expensive than other healthcare plans and is not an open-enrollment option.

3. Short Term Health Insurance

Entrepreneurs looking to get health insurance outside of the enrollment period can look into purchasing short-term health insurance. The price of short-term health insurance is generally lower than most insurance options. However, you may not have the level of coverage you need.

4. Associations

Some associations, like the National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE), offer health insurance as a perk for joining the organization.

5. PEOs

Professional Employer Organizations or PEOs outsource management tasks like accounting and payroll. PEOs also offer health care, and registered entrepreneurs can access group health insurance for a small monthly fee.

6. Health Cost-Sharing

If you are looking for affordable health care without additional services, you may seek a health cost-sharing plan. Before pursuing this option, it is essential to note that you must be in good health before joining.


health insurance plans
There are a variety of types of health insurance plans

How Much Coverage Do You Need?

Within each health insurance plan, there are different types of coverage available. To determine which coverage option is best for you, your employees, and your business, you may wish to ask yourself questions such as:

  • Who will receive coverage under this plan?
  • Do you have a significant savings cushion each paycheck?
  • How often did you visit the doctor this year?
  • How much cost-sharing can you afford?
  • What benefits are most important to you and your employees?

After answering these questions, you may wish to look into the following health plan types to choose the best option for you and your business:

HMO

A Health Maintenance Organization or HMO is a plan that provides policyholders with a range of services through a provider network. HMO plan members must select a primary care physician who will refer them to an HMO specialist as needed for most of their health care needs. An HMO plan may be the right coverage option for you if:

  • You are willing to coordinate all care through your primary care physician.
  • You want to save money with a low monthly premium.

PPO

A Preferred Provider Organization or PPO is a plan designed to help members get medical care from a doctor or hospital within a list of preferred providers. A PPO plan may be right for you if:

  • Your preferred doctor is already in the PPO network.
  • You want greater control over your health care but are willing to work within a list of providers.

EPO

An Exclusive Provider Organization or EPO plan is similar to a PPO plan but offers some restrictions when choosing a doctor and hospital network. EPO plans do not provide members with coverage outside their network except in emergencies, and you do not have to select a single primary care doctor with an EPO plan.

You may wish to invest in an EPO plan if:

  • You prefer getting your care through a network of doctors and medical providers.
  • You do not want to coordinate medical care through your primary care doctor.

HSA

Health Savings Accounts or HSAs have a higher deductible and are similar to PPO plans. Like flexible spending accounts, an HSA is a bank account that allows you to save money for future medical expenses. You may wish to invest in an HSA if:

  • You want to pay for all health care expenses with pre-tax dollars.
  • You are young and healthy and do not visit the doctor often.
  • You would like a cheaper monthly premium in case of unexpected illnesses or injuries.

Protect Yourself and Your Business With Insurance Coverage

Regardless of which insurance option you choose, it’s essential to remember that your health is a vital factor in the success of your business. As the owner and operator of your business, you should consider investing in insurance to help you take care of your health and effectively manage your operations.


Author: Beth Rush is the content manager and Managing Editor at Body+Mind. She is a well-respected writer in the personal wellness space and shares knowledge on various topics related to nutrition, fitness, holistic health, mental health, and disease prevention. In her spare time, Beth enjoys going for runs and trying out new fitness trends.


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