My eyes almost fell out of my head when I read a June 27, 2008 article in Pacific Business News with the headline: For Solo Operators, Insurance Deals Grow.
It was about medical insurance — which, of course, is tricky business when you are self-employed.
From the Pacific Business News article by Linda Chiem:
Hawaii’s major health insurers, pushed by health-care advocates and solo business owners, are expected to launch a pilot program that would give sole proprietors and the self-employed the chance to buy health insurance coverage at a group rate traditionally offered to small businesses and employers.
The effort was made possible by a new law, which takes effect July 1, that is seen by its supporters as a first step in reaching Hawaii residents who are working but cannot afford insurance.
Hawaii is the only state that requires employers to offer health insurance to all full-time employees.
But sole proprietors straddle the line between employer and employee, which leaves them with limited options when it comes to buying health insurance at an affordable rate.
This is absolutely amazing news to me, yet other than the Pacific Business News article I’ve heard nothing about it. It’s shockingly progressive! Humane! Business-friendly!
Some self-employed people, of course, take on a second job primarily for the health insurance benefits. Others have a more “traditionally-employed” spouse who has health insurance at his/her job.
The rest of us struggle to find medical insurance at all if we have just about any pre-existing health condition. And if we do find coverage, the amount we pay would make your socks crinkle and fall right off.
Or we just go without medical insurance. Not me; I’ve held a six-figure hospital bill in my hand before (it wasn’t mine). But some people — who, I guess, haven’t — just take their chances.
I’ll look into this some more; maybe I can wheedle down the stunning amount of money we pay for health insurance each month. I’ll let you know what I learn.
Or if anybody out there has more information on this, please leave a comment.