That was kind of bullshit.
It’s time for an addendum. While it’s all well and good for me to share my epiphanies about how healthcare costs factored into my decision to work – or not work – for someone else, it’s still just my experience. My purpose was to inspire hopeful entrepreneurs to consider what’s really bonding them to their current job, and whether those bonds are truly unbreakable.
Disclaimer: I wrote that the cost of healthcare benefits was one reason I never wanted to work for myself all those years – when I was 20-something. At that time I was a junior creative. Meaning a junior creative salary, junior creative portfolio, and oh I don’t know – say, $500 in a pension fund?
Healthcare premiums were less of a factor when I started Rribbitz: I’d been eliminating debt and investing funds for nearly 18 years. I had a career portfolio and professional network to support my rates. All factors that weren’t available to me when I was 25 – or even 30.
Even more relevant: I’d never been diagnosed with cancer, diabetes, or any other chronic condition besides juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. My only blip in “qualifying” for healthcare had been my use of prescription contraceptives — yep, I was turned down for an individual policy in my late 20s because I was on the pill*. Funny, isn’t it?
So don’t let me get away with making it look so easy. It takes research, planning, financial flexibility, and a hell of a lot more to make the leap to an independent career.
Planning your healthcare coverage is just one aspect.
That’s why I want to make this a more valuable discussion: I’m calling on you, creative entrepreneurs. Whether you’ve been in business 6 weeks or 6 years – how did you handle health care? Your feedback might help someone else take the leap – or it might help someone like me discover a better way to do healthcare coverage.
If you post on the Rribbitz Facebook page, I’ll assume you’re giving me permission to ask you more questions and/or use your name on this blog. If you want to share your story anonymously, please email me directly or via Facebook. I’ll include your insights but not your name. Let us know:
- What did you do for healthcare coverage when you started your business?
- Did you continue coverage via a spouse, or COBRA?
- Share any details about the coverage you got – provider, deductible, number of people on the policy.
- How long have you been on the coverage and did you ever switch or change it?
- Looking back, what would you do different, if anything?
- What advice would you share with other hopeful entrepreneurs about starting an independent business and leaving the haven of group healthcare?
Look for an update this Friday.
*For my complexion, of course. I was working for an agency that didn’t provide group health coverage, but offered to pay the insurance premiums if we found individual coverage.