Health Benefits for the Self Employed
Often called ‘the brave’ (or dumb, depending on your perspective), self-employed people have spurred on many an economy. Here’s what one Statistics Canada publication had to say: “According to the Labour Force Survey, between 1990 and 1997, self-employment accounted for almost 75% of total net job growth.” However, this same study found that 4 in 10 self-employed had no insurance coverage whatsoever. Lack of money was the main reason for not having health related insurance coverage.
These spirited entrepreneurial individuals follow their ideas, often without thinking too much about their own security needs – after all, they are the ones who are willing to risk it all for their dreams. And so for these people we would like to suggest a few affordable health care options to help minimize their financial risk of ‘going it alone.’
There are a couple of ways to get health related benefits – unpackaged (non-insurance) and packaged (insurance) plans.
Unpackaged Plans for the Self Employed
This category includes options such as Health Spending Accounts (HSA) also known as Private Health Services Plans or Personal Health Spending Plans (PHSPs). Key advantages are its flexibility and cost-effectiveness as a way for employers to provide health care and dental coverage for themselves and their employees. An upper dollar limit is established by the employer and the employees spend this amount on whatever health or dental service they choose. Employees like the flexibility in selecting their care options and employers like the certainty of knowing upfront how much their benefit costs will be. Learn more about Personal Health Spending Plans.
Packaged Plans for the Self Employed
Several insurance companies offer individual health insurance products. For example, Manulife offers Flexcare for people who are not fully covered by a group health plan and for those who are dissatisfied with their current coverage. Manulife also offers CoverMe for those who are about to lose their group health coverage.
Setting up a health benefits plan for self employed individuals and their employees is a worthwhile endeavour but it is not for the faint of heart – there are a lot of restrictions on the options available. Therefore, we suggest talking to Jacqui McFarlane to get clear answers and an effective health benefits program.