If you’ve been laid off and you’re now working as a freelance consultant or maybe you recently started up as a full-time independent contractor after working a corporate gig, you’ll need to get good, affordable health insurance on your own.
You’ll also want to find health insurance that won’t cost an arm and a leg once COBRA runs out.
The best way independent consultants and freelancers can find affordable health insurance is to take advantage of the group policy discounts offered through membership groups through which they may be affiliated.
For instance, by joining Freelancer’s Union (www.freelancersunion.org) free of charge, you can get reasonable rates on health insurance and dental coverage.
You can also try the non-profit National Association of Socially Responsible Organizations (http://www.nasro-co-op.com) for referrals to health plans – state by state – that offer affordable health insurance rates for freelancers, small business owners, and independent contractors.
NASRO is a health care exchange for employer groups, individuals and people on Medicare. NASRO also functions as both a service provider and an advocate for professionals, employees, small businesses and non-profits.
One financial benefit of being a freelancer/entrepreneur is that you’re allowed to deduct at least part of the cost of the health insurance premiums you pay.
This allows you to recoup some of your healthcare expenses.
For more information about the tax advantages available to self-employed persons paying for health insurance, see IRS Publication 535, Business Expenses. The health insurance information is under Section 6.