Thursday, November 18, 2010

Group Health Insurance for the Self-Employed

There are several writers' organizations out there that offer group health insurance plans, such as the Authors Guild--but I notice that they little scheme whereby health insurance pools can't cross state lines is definitely part of the problem:
We now offer discounted health insurance plans to members in New York State, Massachusetts, and Florida,* and we have a nationwide dental plan.

*Although we offer plans for California, Connecticut, Florida, New Jersey and metropolitan Chicago, rate increases have rendered those plans unaffordable to most members. Understanding the importance of these benefits, our staff is continuously working to provide affordable group health plans for our members.
There is something called the National Writers Union--but it is truly, a union: UAW.  And it has the same problem:

Health Insurance

We currently offer health insurance for those members residing in the state of New York.  We are working on a national program that will cover members in all states.  We should have more information on that program by early 2010.
I don't know that I can wait until "early 2010" to find out about this.

If the only way to retire is to buy individual health insurance in a HDHP way with an HSA, I suppose that I can do that.  It does seem absurd that a state with more than 1.25 million people isn't large enough to support a group health insurance pool for self-employed persons.  Or perhaps I just haven't found it yet! 

There is a high risk pool that the state runs--but we aren't high risk.  The requirements for entry into the high risk pool are described here, and pretty clearly, the goal is to make sure that only those who can't get coverage any other way are eligible.  There's some merit to their desire, of course--but this means that only high risk sorts get to join the pool, guaranteeing the premiums will be absurd.

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