How to Buy Health Insurance Without Getting Financially Sick
Since it’s rare for Americans to work at the same loyal employer for the entirety of their careers, many employees are opting to take charge of their own future by setting up businesses they can drive and control. The Internet offers many opportunities for entrepreneurs, such as the ability to work from home while raising a family, convenience, efficiency, closeness with sellers/buyers and the intrinsic value of being able to create a better balance between work and life.
However, along with this good news comes the challenge of finding health insurance. If you don’t find the right plan at the right price, you can seriously damage not only your physical well being, but also your long-term financial health.
Below, we provide steps to help entrepreneurs and the self-employed find appropriate insurance.
Health care in America has evolved into a sprawling system of hospitals, clinics, managed care overseers, insurance companies, giant for-profit corporations, and myriad other organizations employing a vast labor force.
Add the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) to the mix, and the result is a huge bureaucratic morass that’s difficult for home-based entrepreneurs to navigate.
You can do all the research and figure it out yourself – or you can do it the easy way with a quick call or email to a health insurance broker. Health brokers are a free service, and they’ll do all the legwork for you in finding affordable plans with the right doctors and prescriptions that meet your needs. To find one in your area, visit the website of the National Association of Health Underwriters, an association of benefit professionals who serve individuals and businesses.
Beginning in 2014, Obamacare required most Americans to carry at least a minimum amount of insurance coverage or pay a penalty. While that penalty is currently small, it is set to increase substantially over the next couple of years. This penalty can over time take a bite out of your retirement savings.
You may be eligible for a government tax credit to help you purchase insurance if you aren’t eligible for health-insurance coverage from another source (such as a spouse’s plan). If your annual income is within a certain range, you will generally qualify for some kind of credit toward your insurance premiums.
This amount will increase based on the number of members in your family. If you live in Alaska or Hawaii, that income figure will also increase. This handy chart outlines the income ranges.