Perceived Lack of Affordable Health Insurance Stifles Entrepreneurs
Starting your own business can be a daunting task. But of all things that hold people back, and keep them clinging to their 9-5’s is fear of losing employer based health issuance. Small business owners have the multiple difficulties of finding and paying for health insurance benefits for themselves, their families and sometimes a small number of employees.
Such problems are even more acute in rural areas or small towns were community leaders have counted on entrepreneurs to revitalize their economies. A report issued by The Minnesota Department of Health cited that the problem of employers cutting employee health benefits has become very acute in the areas of rural Minnesota in the past several years. Several Minnesota area Chambers of Commerce have issued statements saying that the main stumbling block to small business start-ups or expansion in these areas is the fear that success will lead to the small business owner to have to provide health insurance benefits he cannot afford.
However according to organizations like the National Association for the Self- Employed, while it can be difficult for small businesses to find affordable health insurance products, it is certainly not impossible. Certainly the expenses of private health insurance needs to be seriously considered before starting any business, but it should not be the determining factor of whether or not to be an entrepreneur. The first avenue they suggest is if you and your spouse are both working, only one of you should leave your job to devote time to the business. You can remain on your spouse’s policy while being self-employed. Once the business becomes more successful, he or she can always consider leaving at that time.
Organizations such as the NASE offer various affordable group health insurance products for the self-employed or small business owners, as do many other member organizations. Today many of the top health insurance companies are developing and offering more affordable health insurance products for small businesses and self employed individuals.
As far as small group health insurance plans for small business owners who do indeed want to offer affordable healthcare benefits for their employees, health plans with a Health Savings Account can be a very viable option. HSA’s coupled with high deducible insurance plans offer not only affordable monthly health premiums to employees of a small business, HSA’s effectively lower an employees taxable income, and provide a retirement annuity – attractive benefits to potential employees.