There are many different terms used for independent contractors: solopreneur, entrepreneur, sole proprietor, freelancer — the list goes on. These individuals either work for a company without benefits (typically as a 1099 professional) or contract with different companies.
Regardless, benefits such as health insurance aren’t included with these arrangements. While there are many advantages to being an entrepreneur, such as autonomy and the thrill of owning your financial destiny, there are important administrative and wellness issues one may not first think of when drawing up that new business plan. Consider the information below when it comes to your financial and personal health.
- Do You Qualify for a Special Enrollment Period?
If you are not currently under a spouse or partner’s health insurance plan and are looking to make a leap into owning your own business where you will step out of the comfort of your existing company’s benefit structure, you’ll want to consider having a short-term insurance plan in place.
This is especially critical if you are making this change outside of an open enrollment period. To find out if you can switch your plan without a short-term solution, check here. For instance, there are certain life events such as marriage, divorce, having a child, job loss and more, where you may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) and can enroll outside of the typical enrollment period.
- Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare)
When you are self-employed, you should consult the US government’s Healthcare Insurance Marketplace to review options that apply to your situation. Alternatively, you can reach out to a licensed insurance agent to let him or her walk you through the best fit for you. You may even be eligible for tax credits or other savings, depending on your income and marital status.
3. Is Short-Term Insurance the Best Option?
Short-term health insurance plans can offer a sound and secure solution that provides important protection for your health (and finances) as you out your business strategy. These plans are typically well-suited for people in good health who need transitional or temporary coverage. The plans are typically less expensive, the approval process quick and they can provide up to 90 days of coverage.
If you are in the throes of starting a new business or at a busy time in your existing small business and need breathing room to make a longer-term decision, these plans are a very good option. Furthermore a customer-focused health insurance agent can help you navigate short term and a long-term solution when the timing is right overall.
Being a solopreneur is challenging (and yet exciting) enough without excessive worry over health insurance. These options and resources can help make the business ownership journey easier and allow you to focus on the important task of building and growing your business.