There are many options for an individual to obtain affordable health insurance coverage. Keep in mind that there are savings in numbers; the more people in a plan, the better the savings for each member.
In some states, like Florida, you may purchase group policies for a group of one. Some states allow a two-person policy to qualify for a group rate. If you are a sole proprietor and your spouse helps you with things like bookkeeping, filing, or mailings, you may be able to claim them as an employee and get the group rate.
Another option for the self-employed is the National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE). NASE offers self-employed individuals the choice to deduct 100% of their medical premiums and 100% of their non-insured medical expenses from state, federal, and self-employment taxes through a program called 105 HFR.
If you’re not in business, don’t despair. You may be able to enjoy the lower premiums associated with group plans by joining an organization such as a trade or alumni association. For instance, as a writer, I might elect to join a group association targeted at helping writers secure discounted health insurance. groups such as the ASJA (American Society of Journalists and Authors).
Fitness instructors might elect to participate in the health insurance program offered through IDEA, an organization of health and fitness professionals. Pregnant women may join the American Pregnancy Association, which offers both government-funded programs and discount health programs such as MaternityCard AmeriPlan.
Because association health plans are not subject to the various state regulations that group health plans are, they are able to offer cheaper insurance coverage. Keep in mind, however, that an association health plan is different from a group health plan in that the association does not have to offer the same premium for each member.
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