Are you one of the many individuals who has become self-employed either voluntarily or involuntarily due to the changes in today’s economy?
In the past if you voluntarily left your employer or were laid off, you would have been able to move to another company; however, because of economic changes in California, you may now be forced to become self-employed, classified as an independent contractor or “consultant” to survive financially.
In addition to the financial implications, the biggest shock is the realization that by leaving your former employer you have suddenly lost the safety net for you and your family of health insurance and related benefits previously provided by the company.
- As a health insurance broker, a specific area of my focus is the self-employed who have left companies to work independently. My goal is to provide these individuals and their families with creative strategies to replicate, on an individual basis, the benefits once provided by their previous employers.
Over the next few weeks I will be focusing my newsletter, and my other publications, on the risks faced by the self-employed through the loss of company employee benefits. I intend to recommend specific strategies to reduce or eliminate these financial risks.
A few of the issues, and questions that I will address:
- The risk of medical expenses caused by illness or accidents.
Health insurance policies are nothing more than financial instruments designed to mitigate medical financial risks.
Do you know how to tailor the four (Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum) health insurance plan categories to your specific needs?
- The risk of large out of pocket financial requirements of health insurance policies.
Currently these amounts range from $4,000 to $6,850 for individuals, and $8,000 to $13,700 for families. In 2017 these amounts will increase to $7,150 and $14,300 respectively.
How will these amounts be paid, and by whom?
- The risk of a direct loss of income by being unable to work for a period of time (or permanently) as the result of an illness or accident.
Health insurance only pays for the medical expenses; it is not designed to replace lost income.
What types of policies can be used to protect income, and how do insurance companies view the self-employed vs. W2 employees?
- The risks of requiring skilled nursing, assisted living or other long term care arrangements caused by an illness or accident.
Can insurance policies be structured to pay these benefits, and still provide other benefits?