1. 15645 POINTS
    Edward HarrisPRO
    Owner, Best Health And Car Insurance Rates - Instant Online Quotes, US
    Self-employed health insurance can be very affordable, if you shop the right way. A big mistake made by small business owners is that they either incorrectly calculate their federal subsidy, or choose a policy that appears to very inexpensive, but ultimately becomes extremely expensive because of higher-than anticipated premiums and high out-of-pocket costs that were not initially understood or explained.

    An experienced broker can review all Exchange plans (Platinum, Gold, Silver, Bronze, and Catastrophic), determine the correct subsidy, explain Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and determine if they the tax benefits and low premiums would be beneficial. Also, accurate calculation of the federal subsidy is critical, and it's important that a broker offer his/her expertise so you don't owe an unexpected tax bill in the Spring.

    The ACA Legislation has changed the scope of US healthcare, and professional expert and unbiased guidance is always recommended. And each year, new plans and carriers become available on state and federal Marketplaces.

    The SHOP Marketplace is also available for small business owners.

    IMPORTANT: This question was answered by Edward Harris, one of the premier health insurance brokers in the US, and owner of majormedicalhealth.com, which provided free online quotes and the lowest rates from top-rated companies.
    Answered on May 16, 2015
  2. 552 POINTS
    Ruth Ladas
    CEO, RLI - Ruth Ladas Insurance, LLC, Fort Myers, Florida
    The biggest mistake self employed people is in reporting annual income. Interestingly, men tend to understate and women tend to overstate!

    For purposes of Obamacare subsidy, the premium you pay and the policy coverage is driven by age, household size, location and income. The government is paying part of your premium and if they give you too much subsidy, at tax time they take it back on your tax return. This could leave you owing a lot of money.

    It is vital to report accurately and to report income changes in timely way. For the best results, connect with an agent in your local area. This person will review your subsidy with you annually and can assist you during the year.
    Answered on May 17, 2015
  3. 190 POINTS
    Crystal Wise
    Licensed Insurance Agent, HealthMarkets, Norwood, MA
    Not using a broker.

    You are likely an expert in your field, which is why you started a business. However, there are many aspects to running a business that have nothing to do with your industry, for which you will need the advice of a professional. A licensed insurance agent will save you time and money because, at zero cost to you, the agent will do all the research to find you the best health plan that suits your particular need. This will free you from scouring the various insurance companies and their numerous plans, hoping you are making the right choice. Your agent will inform you about subsidies you may qualify for and they will continue to keep you informed of changes that affect your coverage year to year.

    Although many people may have the same health insurance plan, not every plan is right for every person. An agent will be able to help you design a benefit plan and explain what coverage you have so there are no unwelcome surprises.

    Good luck!
    Answered on May 26, 2015
  4. 5527 POINTS
    Marlin McKelvy
    President, Consumer Directed Benefit Solutions, Memphis, Tennessee
    Not seeking out the help of a health insurance professional who can show them health plans both on and off of the government health insurance marketplaces would be Number 1. The second biggest mistake is focusing solely on the monthly premium.

    It is no secret now that health insurance has gotten substantially more expensive for most people. What is not discussed as much is that really understanding what you are buying when you purchase a heath insurance policy has become much more complicated. Even if you are at an income level where you qualify for a subsidy of your monthly premium, and possibly cost sharing reduction, through the government health insurance marketplace, that doesn't mean the most people will understand what they are enrolling in from the information they see on the government web site. As this is a decision that is extremely hard to change once it is made, you need to do your homework before you buy. Are the doctors, hospitals and pharmacies you want to use in-network providers with the plan you are considering? Does the plan offer out-of-network coverage if you want to use a health care provider outside the network? Do you have to get a referral from your Primary Care Physician before you can see a specialist? Are the prescription drugs you are taking included in the insurance company's prescription drug formulary? And, if so, at what level are these medications covered and might you be required to go back and try other medications (even ones you have tried in the past and found not as effective as your current medication) before your current medication would be covered? If you need access to the services of a nationally recognized facility such as M.D. Anderson or The Mayo Clinic would they be covered and, if they are, what steps would you have to go through to gain access to them? If you don't know the answer to all these questions and many more you are not really in the position of being an informed buyer and that's why you need professional guidance from an experienced insurance broker.

    At today's premium levels it is easy to settle for the lowest possible cost plan and just hope for the best. However, this could be a big mistake. Sometimes a relative small difference in monthly premium costs for a more expensive plan can save you hundreds or thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket expenses when you start needing health care services. This is something you need to think through before you purchase your health insurance coverage.
    Answered on June 7, 2015
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