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Healthcare For The Self Employed

What can anyone offer in the way of obtaining reliable
health care for a sole proprietor of a one man jewelry studio in
Texas? Possibly a favorite professional group where the membership
can obtain group health care as opposed to individual coverage?

Or more importantly, are there any real avenues to get true group
rates or do the current regulations make this all but impossible?

All advice is welcome… Firsthand success stories preferred.

Thank you in advance.
J Collier

J Collier
Small Scale Metalsmith

You might look into Medical insurance with a high deductible coupled
with an HSA (Health savings account). You can deposit $X into your
HSA and the HSA basically covers your out of pocket
expenses(deductible). I have blue cross with a 2500 deductible, cost
less than $300 per month. Other deductible amounts are available.

Here in Michigan the people to talk to are with your local Chamber
of Commerce. Blue Cross/Blue Shield offer very good group rates by
being a member.

Jon Michael Fuja

Basically you want to go through a professional association for
this. The one that I hear of as the best is the Society of American

Hard to Find Tools for Metal Clay


Your local chamber of commerce offers group health (and sometimes
dental) insurance. I don’t know what part of Texas you are in, so I
checked San Antonio and they offer group insurance. Quite possibly,
your local chamber will offer it as well. If you google “chamber
commerce” and the name of your town/city, it should come up.

Good Luck
Kim Starbard

hi J

we created a design group, and through that were able to afford a
group health insurance policy with a dental coverage option for
those that wanted to pay the extra amount in the group.It required
setting up a not-for-profit organization though by IRS standards (
501 © 3 status) that has the added benefit of serving as an
umbrella for grant application processes,and other valuable raissons
that would otherwise be unavailable to individuals, however with a
group and organized board, administration of funding became possible-
not that that’s what you’re asking- just a perk of paying the govt.
fees for the creation of an organization that helps get people that
fall through most cracks health coverage… there are a number of
insurers that offer small business policies as well, but the prices
are generally ridiculous if you want to eat, and subsist as well as
have health coverage!. Also a number of “alternative” methods of
getting coverage, based on your assets, income and other private
factors that i won’t list here[, but will be in touch with you
about…( no big secret thing, just lengthy info and sources )…] are
probably worth looking into if you want to forgo gathering a group of
friends /artisans and attempt setting up a not-for-profit, but the
financial savings are truly worth it in the long run…for example,
insurance 9 premium) that would cost you $1200.00 a month as an
individual, would be closer to 250.00 a month - a big difference but
still major output, particularly if you are healthy and don’t have
pre-existing conditions…and there are less expensive insurers as
well as the one i just quoted from… CERF, is another organization
that can help you in non - ongoing matters…like you sever a tendon,
or burn your eyes with acids. or cyanide gas overcomes you and you
don’t quite die…lovely imagery but-- could happen…in those cses
CERF can assist…as well, they have insurers that they recommend -
for small business insurance and health coverage…you should
definitely, as well as all ORCHIDiANS, check out and become familiar
with CERF…they are mainly a disaster recovery tool, but some of
their other is a) good to know, B0 worth supporting, and
can help each of you that are beyond the hobbyist stage should need
be…you must be a business though…otherwise the help is not
guaranteed…for instance, you have begun making jewlery and are
selling it and in process of incorporating as an LLC, or sole
proprietorship ( bad move!!!) but haven’t gotten around to filing
the papers, paying the fees or some other requisite to finalization
of your status as a legitimate business…

It’s getting rather dark here so I have to turn off the solar and
hydro, but will continue, if i have any more usable info
later…lightening and cpu’s don’t mix well!


Speaking as a programmer in the health insurance industry (I’m
learning jewelry fabrication because it brings me joy)… I work on
the software that pays your claims, so I have more than passing
familiarity with how they work.

If you can afford the high deductible plan that Neilthejeweler
mentioned, with the pre-tax HSA (Health Savings Account), it’s often
the best plan available for those with moderately to seriously high
medical expenses, because those plans usually count everything
towards your deductible, and more importantly, towards your
out-of-pocket maximum. And with many of those plans (please do your
homework, they’re not all alike!), once that out-of-pocket maximum is
met, your covered medical expenses are paid at 100%, with no co-pays.
(For example, I submitted $44,000 in medical bills one year, and only
paid my $2500 deductible. Good deal, eh?)

And if you’re able to do so, check out the tax advantages of not
actually using the money in the HSA for paying any of those
expenses. With most plans (again, please do your homework, they’re
not all alike!), you can leave that money in there until after
retirement, at which point it becomes non-taxable, and can be used
for any purpose – kind of like an extra IRA or SEP.