Healthspan Blog

Long healthspans mean happy lives

Health insurance question for the self-employed here.

12th March 2009

Question: I’ve had Anthem insurance for the entire 14 years I’ve been freelancing. Since 9/11, my monthly premium has gone up more than 400%.

I have to believe I can be paying less, but I don’t want to go with a fly by-night company either. I’ve gotten the name of a broker from a friend who says she re-shops carriers every year to make sure she has the best rate/plan. That would be new to me.

Before I call the broker, anybody here that is also self-employed have a company they like working with? Strategies for getting reasonably priced health insurance that also offers good, reliable coverage?

Answer 1: I don’t know what line of work you are in but I know in the restaurant and bar world sometimes you can get group rates with other owners who ban together. Maybe something like that in your line of work?

Answer 2: My advise to you would be to pit several of the brokers against each other and try and get the best deal that way. Times are tough, you might get a good rate. Contact any reputable financial advisors in your area (or are any of them personal friends?). They most likely will have the ability to shop around for you, or know people who will be able to shop around for you. Rates will be high, unfortunately.

Answer 3: There is also a Freelancers union through which you can end up with a group rate.

Answer 4: Shop online. Try this health insurance site and any others you can find. I had good luck with – I’m a financial advisor who is SE and found the offerings to be more than fine until I joined a group plan.

Answer 5: Check your local C of C… They may offer members pretty good deals (and not underwritten, so no worries about existing conditions) by banding together with other regional C of Cs to gain buying power. I belong to the Scranton PA C of C and get good coverage for both my wife and I through BlueCross/BlueShield.

Answer 6: I belong to the Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce and pay $1600/month for myself and two associates.

Answer 7: I am self employed and I have blue cross and shield for 400 @ month for a family of four w/ a 3000K deductable.

Answer 8: I am self employed and I have a group of about 10 guys on Cigna and for a family plan it’s around 1250 a month.

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