Health / Dental InsuranceOne of the biggest concerns for people who work from home is how to get health and dental insurance. There are several ways to address this issue.
Pay for Treatment
This might not be reasonable for someone with medical issues, but for many people starting their home business, they are young and healthy. Let's take Dental Insurance. I did research in 2005 and found plans that ran around $35/month for an individual. That ads up to $420/year. If you go in twice a year for checkups and your teeth are fine, that is only around $60/visit or $120/year. You are paying a ton more money than you even need to! Most adults don't get cavities, because they brush their teeth twice a day and don't eat a ton of sugar. For health insurance, whie many plans run say $400-$500 a person per month, you might only be going in once a year for an annual checkup which would cost say $100 if you paid for it. So you're paying say $6,000 a year for something that will cover you for $100.
If you got hit by a car, or slipped on someone's driveway, their insurance would pay for that. So really your insurance covers "your own mistakes". As much as government watchers rant and rave about insurance for everyone, I honestly know many people who are happy without insurance because it is much cheaper. But again, it all depends on where you are in life, and what your risk factors are.
Chamber of Commerce
Just about every town has a Chamber of Commerce - i.e. an organization to help support the businesses in the area. Usually there is some sort of fee to join - say $100/year. But as part of your benefits, you get to choose from amongst their various health programs. Often the rates you get are just as good as if you signed up with a 'real' employer for that coverage. It all depends on the strength of your chamber. In addition, you should get a ton of other benefits from networking to promotion and training and so on. So it is really WELL well worth checking out your local chamber to see what they can do for you.
There are many unions out there, even a union for writers. These unions often offer medical and dental insurance as well as a bunch of other benefits. It is a good idea to look in the field you are in and see what organizations help support you. The up-front fee to join is usually well offset by the host of benefits you receive.
You need to think about insurance a few months before you actually take the plunge, as many insurance companies need time to set up a policy.
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