What If I Am Self-employed?

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· If you are self-employed with no other workers, you are considered to be a group of one. Insurers are required to accept your application for a standard health plan, a basic health plan and a high deductible plan in August of each year to make coverage effective on October 1, of that year. They can refuse to sell you other plans, however. Further, the rules for pre-existing condition exclusion periods are somewhat different.

For groups of one, pregnancy can be counted as a pre-existing condition.

If you are a group of one and you have had no prior coverage, the group health plan can exclude coverage for your pre-existing condition for up to 2 years. The plan can count as pre-existing any condition for which you received, or – in your insurer’s judgment, for which you should have sought – a diagnosis, treatment or medical advice in the 2 years prior to enrolling in the plan. This is called the prudent person standard. If you had prior coverage, you will receive credit toward your pre-existing condition exclusion period for any time you satisfied under your prior coverage provided there was no break in coverage greater than 63 days.

· In order to show that you qualify as a self-employed person or a business group of one, insurance companies are allowed to require that you provide them with your tax forms.

· If you are self-employed and buy your own health insurance, you may be eligible to deduct 100 % of the cost of your premium from your federal income tax.

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