Running a truck broker business is a fantastic way to earn an excellent income, as well as enjoy flexible hours and the convenience of working from home. As with everything in life there are some tradeoffs, of course. One problem that many self-employed people run into is finding affordable individual health insurance. While this can be a challenge, recent changes in healthcare laws have made more options available than ever before. So here are some tips you may want to consider:
For many people, the easiest and best way to obtain coverage is simply by joining their spouse’s employer-provided plan. Your husband or wife will need to get in touch with their human resources manager, who can give them information on rates, eligibility periods, and other important details.
- If this isn’t an option for you, then you’ll need to find coverage on your own. Fortunately, many states have laws ensuring that small business owners can get health insurance at reasonable rates. Details will vary, however, depending on where you live. For example, some states require a minimum of two employees to obtain coverage, while others only mandate that you have a business license and tax I.D. number. To find out about the laws in your area, contact your state insurance commission or a local insurance agent.
- Often you can save by purchasing health insurance from the same company you have your home and/or vehicle coverage with. Ask your agent if they offer such discounts.
For people with pre-existing conditions like diabetes, obtaining insurance can be very difficult. Here are some options to consider:
- Some companies offer limited-benefit, or “mini-med” plans, that are open to people with past health issues. If you decide to investigate these programs, it’s important to compare several of them and to check with the Better Business Bureau before going with a particular insurer. Usually you receive five or six doctor visits per year, discounts on certain procedures, and coverage of some hospital-related services. You might also have access to a card to buy reduced-cost prescription medications.
- Many major insurers offer short-term plans that run for periods from three months to one year. Often the eligibility requirements are less strict than for regular policies.
- Many pharmacy chains have savings clubs that offer generic or older medicines at greatly reduced costs. Sometimes the cost can be as low as $3.00 for a month of pills. Check with drug stores in your area to see if they participate in these programs.
- While doctors don’t openly advertise their rates, in many communities a local clinic may purposely set its prices low to help the uninsured. Checking with churches, social agencies, or pharmacists may tell you if there is such a medical services provider in your area. While this isn’t actual insurance, it can assist those who are in good health and only occasionally need to see a physician.
- All states now have high-risk insurance pools as a result of recent health care reform legislation. While rates vary, acceptance is guaranteed. You can find out about the options in your area by visiting www.healthcare.gov.
- You might also want to investigate the pre-existing health care program administered at the federal level by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Like the state high-risk pools, acceptance is guaranteed, but certain guidelines must be met. First, you must have been without coverage for a minimum of six months. Also, you must have what is known as a “qualifying condition” that prevents you from getting coverage from a private insurer. This can require either getting a doctor to fill out the necessary form or applying to an insurance company and receiving a letter of rejection. Rates vary according to age but not overall health.
One thing is for sure: worry and stress will do your health no good at all. That’s just one of the reasons you should invest in TruckingOffice’s trucking management software. You’ll always know how profitable each load is, how many miles are involved in each dispatch, and what is going on with maintenance and driver records. Plus, our state-of-the-art cyber-security keeps your information safe from prying eyes. Contact us to see how TruckingOffice can make your business easier today.