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There are a number of health insurance options for the self-employed individual including COBRA, private insurance, health savings accounts, discount programs, government sponsored programs as well as getting a part-time job with a company that offers benefits. While health insurance is not inexpensive, there are ways to save. These options are discussed in the next section. Additionally, to help ease the burden, new tax laws allow the self-employed to write off 100% of their premiums

If You Quit Your Job Will You Lose The Insurance?
No. In the US, The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) becomes available to individuals with employer-sponsored insurance at their job even after they quit or are laid off. COBRA offers these individuals the option to keep the same benefits for the next year 18 months. Additionally, if you become disabled while covered under COBRA benefits would be extended to 36 months. Of course, the cost of the insurance will now come out of your pocket, not your employer.  You are responsible to pay for the policy and if payments are late the policy will be cancelled.  When COBRA expires you may have the option to covert to a regular policy with the insurance provider.

How to Sign up For COBRA
A few months prior to the expiration of your policy, when it has been determined that you will not meet the requirements for your employer to continue paying for your insurance, you should receive a letter offering insurance under COBRA. This letter will detail the type of insurance and cost. You only have 60 days after your policy expires to make a decision and payment is due 45 after that date.

Affordable Private Health Insurance
Millions in the US remain uninsured partly due to high insurance premiums. These premiums are nothing when you consider the fact that common medicines can run $300 for a month supply for the uninsured. Various policies with different companies run from 80-$300, but the type of insurance you choose depends on how much money you want to spend-and when.. Some have high monthly premiums but come with a $0 co-pay (amount paid at time of service), $0 deductible (total amount you pay before insurance kicks in) and full coverage, while other policies have low premiums and office co-pays, deductibles, and no prescription coverage, so it is important to compare policies to make sure you get the best deal.

Health Savings Accounts
Health Savings Accounts (HSA), established in 2003 by the Bush Administration, is a health insurance option healthy freelancers should seriously consider. In simple terms it is a health insurance policy and an IRA with tax advantages.

For example, let’s say you have a policy with an insurance company that costs $140 per month for a $1,500 deductible. This policy offers a $20 doctor visit copay and $10 prescription copay. You pay the $140 each month whether or not you see a doctor or fill a prescription. Many people simply can’t afford this and even though it is paying for their well being should they get sick, they view it as “wasted money” each month.

If your insurance policy has a deductible of $1,000 or more it may qualify to become an HSA policy. This would mean you have the same coverage, except your monthly premium is deposited in an IRA each month. So, you are not “wasting” but “saving” this money and also have the confidence of health coverage. The trade off is this. People who use HSA policies don’t have the doctor visit or prescription copay, so when they need to see a doctor they write checks off the HSA account until the deductible for the year is met. After that, the policy usually covers 100% of medical costs. Any unused money in the account builds up each month and rolls over from year to year. Like a traditional IRA these funds are yours come age 65. As contributions are also tax-free, you can see how this IRA with the benefits of health insurance is extremely popular with freelancers. People urged not to use HAS are those with preexisting conditions who need regular health care of medication. You can sign up for these programs with your insurance company.