One of the big reasons folks are very hesitant to venture into self employment is health insurance. Especially as we get on in life and have families we are responsible for, having health insurance to cover medical expenses is really important. This is one of the reasons to hold onto a job at an employer who provides group coverage at reasonable cost to you, even if you hate what you are doing this benefit often times convinces people to stick with it…..
The truth is that health insurance can be very expensive so you do need to deal with this questions if you venture outside of the corporate world. But this does not need to be a guilt-ridden stressful experience. Health insurance is just a line item cost you need to be aware of and plan for, just like a utility bill. The fact is that in recent times, there have been more options available to self-employed individuals under the Affordable Healthcare Act. In addition, you have the option to continue your current group coverage under COBRA for 18 months once you leave your employer. However, the entire cost will be shifted to you, so it is important to find out what this will be as you research your options, before making any moves.
Another option is Medicare, if you qualify, so this also needs to be considered into your plan depending on when you intend to retire and leave your full time employment. If you decide to go on your own as a self-employed individual, you can find information on the healthcare coverage marketplace at www.healthcare.gov . There is a special enrollment person available to folks who lose their current healthcare coverage due to loss of a job or discontinuation of employment. So, be sure check this out while you are evaluating your options.
So what are the typical costs you might be looking at for healthcare coverage as a self employed individual? Keep in mind these are just averages and vary depending on your location and specific requirements. But for quick high level estimating purposes, these are the numbers:
These are just ballpark numbers, but important to consider. You can find more information at www.ehealthinsurance.com
This is why it makes sense to start a venture on the side first while still working for an employer, and then make the transition to move over to working only at your side venture when you are ready (when you have enough resources to retire, when the side venture is bringing in sufficient income). Another option you have is to first transition from your current job to a lower level, less demanding type of work which includes benefits, and then focus more time on building up your side venture, before finally leaving your job. There are many options out there, so it’s important to objectively consider them all before making any decisions, and to be aware of these instead of feeling trapped in what you are currently doing.