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Health Insurance Without An Employer - 3 Important Tips (5)

Health Insurance Without An Employer - 3 Important Tips (5)

If you've recently become unemployed or are setting off to make your living as a freelancer, health insurance is one of those considerations that may suddenly make your life a lot more complicated. What was once affordable - or even free - through your employer is likely to become quite a bit more expensive. Even so, it is a necessity. Anything can happen at any time. While a hospital has to treat you if you go in with an emergency situation, this only covers the bare minimum of the possibilities. You certainly don't want to let your health decline to the point where an emergency becomes reality. There are three key ideas to keep in mind when investigating health care options on your own:

- Explore

Don't get in a panic and purchase the first health insurance you come across. This is a decision that needs to be made thoughtfully. If you've recently been laid off, you will probably be able to take advantage of the COBRA option, which allows people to stay with the same plan they were on while at work. Of course, you'll now be covering 100% of the premiums yourself, rather than splitting it with your employer. This bill could come as a shock and may not be the cheapest plan you can get away with. On the other hand, there are considerable reasons to stay covered, especially if you have existing ailments or illnesses.

- Go Shopping

No one ever said health insurance was simple; it isn't. That means you can't do something as simple as compare basic price tags. Most companies offer several plans, each of which may differ in price and coverage. You need to not only compare available plans through one company, but also contrast them with plans through other companies. Make sure that you are comparing apples to apples as much as possible. One company may offer you a very cheap plan, but what are you getting in return for your premium? You may find that it isn't much.

- Taxes

Taxes for a freelancer can be a nightmare to figure out. The last thing you may need is another complication, but this one is well worth it. Health insurance can be deducted from your taxes, something that can bring your debt to the IRS down considerably. It may even be enough to almost cancel out the dreaded self-employment tax. While it's not going to cover your premiums by any means, it will certainly adjust your income to the point where your burden will be noticeably reduced. 

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