As a small business owner, you don’t have health insurance through your employer – you are the employer.
That doesn’t mean that you’re stuck paying extremely high premiums for healthcare, however. There are affordable options available in 2019.
Here are some healthcare options for you to consider!
Group Health Insurance
A small business with only two people – an owner and an employee – counts as a group for group health insurance in every state. If you want to provide coverage for yourself and your staff, group health insurance is a great option.
There are three ways to get group health insurance. You can apply under the Small Business Health Options (SHOP) Program, work with a private health exchange, or purchase directly from an insurer.
The SHOP program offers tax benefits. As of 2018, the process to enroll in SHOP coverage changed. You now work with a SHOP-registered agent or broker. A private health exchange can help you save money or find higher-quality coverage.
Purchasing directly from an insurer takes a lot of time and effort, and you have to handle all the paperwork in-house, so it’s not one of the best healthcare options unless you have your own benefits department.
Group health insurance is not necessarily inexpensive, but they can help you find coverage for yourself and all of your employees.
Private Health Insurance
Although the current administration hasn’t talked much about it, the Affordable Care Act is still in place and accessible to those who need health insurance.
The open-enrollment period for 2019 is November 1, 2018 through December 15, 2018. If you plan to get or change your private health insurance, you must do it during this time!
If you’re interested in finding out if you qualify for a subsidy, you can visit the Health Insurance Marketplace to review your health insurance options.
You can also contact health insurers directly or use a broker, especially if you think (or know) that you won’t qualify for a subsidy. Keep in mind that private health insurance can be very expensive, but the premiums are tax-deductible.
If you find that regular health insurance is too expensive, you might consider a qualifying high-deductible plan. You can use a health savings account (HSA) to help you save up for the deductibles in case you need care.
Health Share Programs
Interested in finding a group of like-minded people and share health expenses among yourselves? A health share may be for you.
A health share program is where a group of people get together and share each other’s health expenses. Everyone pays in a specific amount, and the total is allocated to everyone who has expenses.
These programs are often faith-based, and may have requirements in that vein. However, the monthly premiums can be a lot lower, and it can help you pay for the care you need in a simple way.
These are not traditional health insurance programs, though. There is no guarantee that your expenses will be fully covered, and if they are not, you have to cover the difference. This option is best for those who share the faith of the organization and have relatively good health.
Preexisting conditions may be excluded, and some procedures or medications may not be covered. You will need to research the details of the health share before committing to it.
Get the Healthcare Options You Need for 2019
Each year is a new opportunity to shop around for the best health coverage at the best price. Take advantage of it!