If you live in the USA, one thing to think about before you quit your day job is health insurance. Most people get their health insurance through employers, but you can also get health insurance through the health care exchange. What you qualify for will depend on your budget and what’s available in your state.
Right now, to qualify for the ACA under the affordable care act, you need to earn at least $15,600 a year – unless you live in a state that expanded Medicaid under the law. Otherwise, you will not qualify for a subsidy, and you won’t be able to afford the premiums.
You can research potential insurance options in your area via the Healthcare.gov site during open enrollment, which is usually in October or November each year. You can also try to do some research on HealthSherpa.com anytime, although not all states are giving information to the site. What you’ll have to do is estimate what you are going to earn for the year of coverage.
If you go during open enrollment, you will be shopping for insurance for the following year, and you’ll need to guestimate how much you are going to earn before taxes to get the price of your insurance. Be aware: if you get a subsidy lowering your insurance price and you earn more money than you thought, you will be paying back the difference. It’s best to overestimate.
The other thing you can do is check any memberships you have – Costco, AARP, AAA, professional trade organizations, and others – to find out if they offer insurance in your state. Often, that is a great way to get better insurance. Many will have ACA plans too, just ask them if you’re not sure.
Another way to get covered is to try something alternative, such as one of the Christian-based health share programs. Do remember that you need to use your due diligence if you choose this type of plan. Don’t just go online and find one. Ask around so you can find someone you know who is using it to select the right one.
As an incorporated business, you can also start a health savings account. An HSA allows you to save pre-tax dollars for medical expenses. There is a lot to this, so you need to seek an attorney that has experience setting up this type of plan to ensure it’s the most advantageous. You’ll have to purchase one of the high deductible plans from a company, and then start the HSA to cover what isn’t covered with pre-tax dollars.
You can also get covered under your spouse’s plan if they are going to keep their job with insurance. Usually, if it’s offered, this is going to be the least expensive way to go. In fact, if you can get group insurance via your spouse, you may not even qualify for other types of insurance anyway, especially plans on the health care exchange.
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