If you are one of the people win the wild west of self-employment, there are health issues you are expected to take importance in. this is a scary leap for many entrepreneurs, with health insurance being towards the top of almost every one of their list of fears. There are however ways to help minimize risk and put a self-employed person’s fears at ease. 

When it comes a self-employed person’s health insurance needs is the introduction of Obamacare which is one of the biggest and most recent developments. This is however a hotly debated topic, we can still find a divide on the opinions people hold in relation to it. No one can deny the fact that Obamacare has made it easier for entrepreneurs to obtain and keep health insurance for them and their families. 

In the marketplace exchange, Obamacare does not include applicants based on health history and status alone, it also helps applicants without perfect health histories and current health from being disqualified. You are screened for health and acceptability when you work for a regular employer who offers benefits as a part of employment package. 

Now, this same right is extended to self-employed people who apply through the marketplace. Prices also do not rise substantially if you have had previous or current health-related issues. This was a huge deal for self-employed people in making progress toward being insurable and covered in cases of catastrophe. However, just because you can get coverage through the marketplace without gouging for health issues does not mean it will be cheap. Depending on your income, you may qualify for financial aid to go toward paying your premiums, however, this is not a guarantee and if you make too much, you will not be able to qualify. Premiums can be expensive, but again, many are happy that they have the ability to be covered in general.

Keeping light part-time employment with an employer who offers benefits as part of employment package is another option entrepreneurs opt for. This is ideal for people that are busy with their own self-employment schedules, it can be a feasible option when you are straddling careers and transitioning over without having a ton of income flowing in to cover higher premiums. Consider going through this route so as to save enough money and also get more comprehensive and supported coverage as well if you are in a position where this could work. 

If you are younger than the 26-year-old cut off, consider going on your parent’s insurance until you no longer can. You will likely be able to get better rates and coverage with their insurance than with your own while building up your business. As you build your profits and your stability, you will be able to start seeking and filtering out other options for the longer term. Staying on your parent’s insurance in the meantime can help save you some stress and heartache.

Consider using cobra to extend your plan and coverage until you get something else in place if you are separating from regular employment and want to keep your coverage for a short period of time. You can also keep some stability with providers and plans for a short period of time while Cobra is relatively expensive, especially important if you have ongoing health issues that will take some time and care to transfer over and find providers for. 

Remember, like anything else related to becoming self-employed, planning for health insurance will take some research and understanding to navigate. While it may be tempting to ignore insurance and hope you won’t need it, this is not a solid strategy and can be very dangerous to your physical, emotional and financial health. Be smart and stay healthy by exploring your options and keeping you and your loved ones covered.