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For entrepreneurs who have no employees and are covered by their spouse’s employer’s group health plan, health insurance isn’t a concern. If you’re single, or you and your spouse about to leave your jobs to be full-time small business owners, you’ve undoubtedly thought about health insurance. This is especially the case if you live in the United States.
The recent Health Reform Laws have and are changing the expectations of American citizens and business owners in terms of health coverage. For a day’s worth of reading, feel free to visit the official website. Or, read below and get a much quicker overview of the options available to you, an entrepreneur, in terms of health coverage.
Types of Health Insurance
- Sold to individuals and families not covered by an employer’s benefits package.
- FLEXIBILITY – Allows individuals to shop around and choose exactly what they want, with the exception of…
- COST – Compared to a Group plan (see below), private health insurance costs less per month, however it may not cover all the services that group health plans do.
- MATERNITY CARE – Not covered under most private health insurance plans. And no, you can not add it as an a la carte option.
- SELECTIVE – Unlike group health care plans, private purchasers often need to apply and undergo an examination before being covered. Pre-existing conditions may cause your application to be denied.
- MENTAL HEALTH – Mental health care is not always covered.
- Purchased by businesses (small and large) for the benefit of their employees.
- FLEXIBILITY – While the employer has the option to choose what plan(s) will be offered to their employees, the employees are most often given 1-3 options to choose from.
- COST – Employers will often offset the cost of the insurance by having their employees pay a portion, if not all of the expense.
- MATERNITY CARE – Most often covered under group health care
- SELECTIVE – In most cases, an pre-screening is not necessary to qualify for coverage.
- MENTAL HEALTH – While there may be a limit on the number of visits that can be made, in our research we have yet to see a group health plan that does not offer mental health coverage.
- SUBSTANCE ABUSE – Most of the plans we’ve looked at also cover substance abuse treatment.
So what does this mean for you? Unfortunately if you are an un-married business owner with no employees, your choice is probably limited to Private Insurance. However, if there are two or more of you in your business, you may qualify for group health insurance, even if you operate your business out of your garage.
According to eHealthInsurance, some states are now allowing home-based businesses with 2 employees to purchase group health plans. To know if your business qualifies, visit your state’s Department of Insurance. In addition, small businesses of any size are encouraged to research health care alliances in their area to possibly offset the cost of group health care. There may be terms to joining the alliance, such as being a member of the Chamber of Commerce or another business networking group, however the cost of membership cost be greatly offset by the amount saved on health insurance premiums.
For quotes on insurance, private or group, here are a couple reputable companies to start with:
- Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield
- eHealthInsurance – Offers competitive quotes from multiple companies
- United Healthcare
While we are not licensed insurance agents, Sutton Creative Studios is always happy to research solutions for any of your business needs.
Kim Sutton is the Managing Partner and Chief Everything Officer of The Sutton Companies, including Sutton Strategic Solutions and Sutton Creative Studios. She is a graduate of The School of the Art Institute of Chicago where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Interior Architecture. In her free-time, Kim cherishes the time she gets to spend with her husband, Dave (her business partner), and five children. She also enjoys reading, knitting and writing.
Get a copy of Kim’s FREE guide, “Top 10 Tools for Small Businesses” by clicking here.