Self-employment health insurance

Self-employment health insurance is a hot topic. Unlike a "regular" job, you don’t have someone else paying for health insurance if you work in self-employment, such as consulting. (Not that all jobs provide coverage, of course.) But what do you do if you need self-employment health insurance?

I live and work in Canada. Fortunately, we have public health insurance, so this was never a worry for me. But what about the US?

Tips for self-employment health insurance

  • In the US, if you recently left your job, you can retain your existing health insurance under COBRA, the Consolidated Omnibus Budger Reconciliation Act, for up to 18 months.
  • Get coverage from your spouse, if this applies.
  • Check out coverage from professional associations and your alma mater. For example, review plans from the National Association for the Self-Employed and the National Federation of Independent Business.
  • Find a discount health insurance program.
  • Shop around.
  • Be flexible. Consider a higher deductible or other incentive to keep premiums down.
  • Hang on to your job and consult full- or part-time. (One of my friends still works for an airline for a few hours a week, so that she can take advantage of all their benefits.)

Those are just a few tips for self-employment health insurance.