In a recent discussion about securing insurance for your studio/storage space, the question was raised about health insurance. Here are a few ideas.
Join your local Chamber of Commerce
Member John Gallagher raised a point thay I want to make sure doesn’t get buried, so I’m going to repeat it here. By joining your local Chamber of Commerce, you might become eligible for health insurance at decent rates. Clearly, this is going to change from city to city, but it’s something that’s definitely worth a little research.
Here’s another source that might help you in your research. HealthInsuranceInfo.net is a project of the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute. You click on the state you live in to download a document that covers everything from what kinds of programs are available for small-business owners to whether there is a option available for those who have been rejected by insurance providers. These documents are comprehensive and frequently updated. They also do a good job of explaining insurance terms.
Small Business Service Bureau
Joining the Small Business Service Bureau will make you eligible to purchase health insurance through that organization. You’ll want to check it out before you join. They have a toll-free number (1-800-315-9933) for your questions about their insurance policies.
Finally, eHealthInsurance is a good place to do some braod searches to get comparative pricing to judge your other results by. You very well might find out that you can get a comparable-or-better policy on your own.
In the early days of Webcomics.com, one of the things that we discussed was making the site a kind of trade organization for independent cartoonists. In that regard, Robert Khoo researched health-insurance policies that the site could make available for its members.
The response in early 2010 was that there were several obstacles to that plan. The membership wasn’t large enough to be an attractive to a health-insurance provider (they prefer groups of several thousands). An added complication was the fact that the membership would be spread across several states — not to mention the international members.
The discussion was tabled with an asterisk: Let’s wait and see what the effects of President Obama’s health-insurance reform bill will be.
In short, it’s nothing we’re able offer now, but it’s something that’s on our minds. If it enters the realm of possibility, we’ll pursue it aggressively.
Get a job, ya bum!
All kidding aside, you wouldn’t be the first person to take a day job for the sole purpose of qualifying for the health insurance it offers. My personal advice for our US members? The Federal government is hiring. Sites like USAjobs help you with your job search and application process. The work is solid and steady, and the benefits are often fantastic.
I’m not advocating leaving your goals as a cartoonist aside, but if you can find a nice, mindless job as a government drone, you could easily incorporate both. And that could make reaching your goals an awful lot less frightening.
Your success stories
Is this an issue that you have tackled and solved? Share your genius here!