Lower Your Health-Care Costs

Health-coverage costs are rising past the point where micro-business owners can afford them. According to a recent survey by the National Association for the Self-Employed, 51% of micro-business owners did not offer health coverage to their employees or have it themselves. But there are things entrepreneurs can do to bring their costs down.

Micro-business owners should: • Educate themselves on where to find health coverage, how it works, and common insurance terms • Look into options offered by trade associations, since many offer members discounts on health insurance • Contact their state’s insurance commission for resource guides or information on which companies provide individual or small group insurance in their state • Use the Web to find guidelines on purchasing health insurance and sites that offer free quotes, letting users compare different policies • Become smart shoppers, and buy only the coverage that fits their specific circumstances • Analyze their health risks, and decide which risks to keep and which risks to give to the insurance company • Become actively engaged in advocating for solutions to the health-care crisis by contacting their local, state, and federal legislators

Robert Hughes President National Association for the Self-Employed Grapevine, Tex.

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