Does anyone have a good health insurance source for your small biz? I'm an individual owner of my 1 person production company, but I've been on my wife's insurance for a few years (since I left my full time job). Now we're looking at different future options where I can't rely on her health benefits.
Does your insurance company insure pre-existing conditions? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
For a one person company, it's tough.
As far as insurance goes, you're considered an individual. Group insurance generally does not kick in until you have at least 1, sometimes 2 or more employees on staff. In NYC we found Healthpass (healthpass.com) for small businesses. You need one employee, must be located in one of the 5 boroughs and at least 70% of your employees must participate. If you qualify they let you select from among 5 insurers and about 6 plans from each insurer. Not bad at all.
I'd love to see the notion of employer supplied health care go by the wayside. Until then, from my research, individuals and 1 person businesses are at a big disadvantage.
editor, compositor, nice guy
It depends on which state you're in. There's a company called Assurant in Milwaukee that my husband uses. However, he is disgustingly healthy. He pays somewhere around $160 a month, but his deductible is something like $1650. In a regular year, we technically pay out of pocket for everything he needs, medical and dental. The insurance only kicks in if he has a real problem that requires more than $1650 a year. They also offer a tax-deductible medical spending account that can accrue over time, so you don't have to use it up every year, like most MSAs an employer offers. We put the max in every year we can for the deduction. It comes out tax-free to pay for his yearly check-ups and dental appointments, and the like. It doesn't feel like out of pocket, because we've already set that money aside. We could take it all out and just pay tax on it anytime. It's a pretty flexible tax shelter, as long as you follow some simple rules. Again, this may not apply to you because your state may have different laws.
I was rejected by Assurant in 2001 because I had a herniated disk in my neck. I was offered a slightly more expensive state plan that I was only eligible for because I had been rejected by a regular insurer. This is my state, though. Other states may not have that fall back insurance. It might be worth a call to you state Health and Human Services, or equivalent department. Pre-existing conditions are getting harder and harder to cover. Now that I've had surgery to correct my herniated disk, I may re-apply to Assurant, but my insurance guy says I may still be rejected because I was already rejected. Then I'll have to wait 7 years to re-apply again. I don't know if this is a state thing or not, but they can't reject you if your condition has not been an issue for 7 or more years, so says the insurance guy. Since it's been corrected, I don't know why they'd reject me, but insurance is a funny game. Maybe they think I'll spontaneously herniate another disk. Like I want to go through that again!
I don't know if any of this is of any help, but at least you know there are two-freelancer families out there with insurance!
I had a plan like the Assurant one noted above, but it wasn't working for me...I found I paid for everything anyway. I investigated further and discovered that Blue Cross Wisconsin had reasonable monthly rates with lower deductibles, and I got a dental rider. The best news is that they actually pay for some things. They pay 80% of my dental visits, they pay sometimes all of my kids regular checkups and immunizations. They even cover some of the basic meds...pennicillin etc.
So I have been very happy and feel my health care is taken care of. They are a recognizable name and I have had no problems.
With the old plan, like the Assurant one, I was paying for everything, no one knew who they were, even Walgreens stumbled when I gave them my card...which was no good anyway so I paid for everything.
If you have a Blue Cross Blue Shield in your state look them up on the web and fill out the application.
Hmmm, that's very interesting, Rich.
My husband hasn't had any issues with clinics or pharmacies not recognizing his insurance card, but then again, he's been to the doctor twice in 5 years, and I'm pretty certain he's never had a prescription since he started with Assurant.
He's never gotten close to hitting his deductible, so we've never added it up. Perhaps it's time to comparison shop again...
Thanks for the input!