Tag Archives: freelance insurance

Health Care Reform Bill Passes House

health care reform passesThe Sunday news roundup shows debated the healthcare reform bill, which the House of Representatives passed 220-215 over the November8 weekend. What does this mean for freelancers?

Right now, absolutely nothing. President Obama has to review the bill then sign or veto the bill. It’s not law just yet, and without reading the seven thousand miles worth of pages in the bill we won’t know how soon the reforms will take place–it certainly won’t be overnight.

The highlights of the bill freelancers need to know about:

According to the news reports I’ve seen, higher premiums for pre-existing conditions will be outlawed under the bill. Again, there’s no word on how long the insurance companies get to jack you around on pre-existing medical conditions. Continue reading Health Care Reform Bill Passes House

Freelance Gear: Are Your Assets Protected?

how to write an invoiceThursday Bram wrote a good article about preparing a freelance business plan. Freelancing is just as much a business as any bricks and mortar storefront, and the sooner writers, coders, graphic designers and other freelancers recognize that fact, the quicker they can start protecting that business properly.

One thing I’d add to the Bram article is something many freelancers overlook–insurance. Not health insurance, which is very important, but business insurance, renter’s insurance, or any other coverage that protects your most valuable assets related to getting the job done.

Freelancers often take their gear and office space for granted, but do a quick tally on the dollar amounts you have invested in your gear. Even if you only have $5K invested in a laptop computer, router, mobile internet card, camera, voice recorder, printer, etc…can you really afford to lay out five grand to replace it all? What about when you transport this stuff in your vehicle? Continue reading Freelance Gear: Are Your Assets Protected?

Freelance Health Insurance: The Journey Begins

In the early days as a full-time freelancer, I did not have health insurance. Part of the reason for doing what some would call playing healthcare roulette had to do with the fact that I had plenty of free coverage (albeit limited in some cases) thanks to my former job as a military writer and editor. When I worked for Air Force News and the American Forces Network, I never needed to pay for healthcare and when I got out I had a transition period where I had access to coverage. No longer.

And yes, in the interests of transparency I will admit that I didn’t have ANY health insurance for a time after my old coverage no longer applied. I figured I was healthy, careful and not about to develop any major problems. I took a gamble that fortunately for me, paid off. But I could easily have been flattened by a runaway bus or a nutjob with a steak knife. Lucky for me it never happened.

My research into the scary and daunting world of health insurance for freelancers has turned up some scary numbers. Since it’s so early in the hunt for affordable healthcare, as someone with the unmitigated audacity to work for themselves instead of being chained to a desk in the Land Of The Cubicles I am naturally a bit put off (terrified?) by what I have found so far. But for every unnerving discovery about freelance health insurance, I find at least one solid resource or advice site with practical, no-nonsense advice either about taxes, the insurance itself or the business of freelancing in general.

One of my most fruitful discoveries to date is AllBusiness.com. I will confess that I’ve only seen the articles on self-employed taxes and health insurance, but I have high hopes based on the strength of this series. Granted, it was written in 2006 and some legal issues have changed or will be changing, but it feels like a great place to start. All Business seems–again, at first glance–like a great no-nonsense resource for anyone serious about making a profit as a freelancer, small business owner or self-employed person. They have not one, but THREE podcasts and feature call-in numbers so you can ask questions on the shows. I am impressed.

The quest for AFFORDABLE freelance health insurance that doesn’t demand insane deductibles goes on. I’ll be passing along my findings here, including a look at what you can find by joining MediaBistro.com’s AvantGuild or the Freelancers Union.