The Biggest Damper on the Entrepreneurial Spirit

I am a cheerleader for entrepreneurs. Nearly every week I meet new young entrepreneurs who think their idea can make a big impact on an industry. I want them to succeed and I know many of them will–the ones who dream and take the risks will often end up with amazing success stories.

But it is interesting is to contrast the young do-it-or-die-trying entrepreneurs with talented, seasoned employees who have been in the workforce sometime but are unwilling to make the leap, even to pursue a great idea that they have. The older group have more experience, more knowledge, more connections, more savings, and more ability to be successful. But they are almost always more risk-averse. They may have a family, a lifestyle to protect, and above all, they feel sometimes an overpowering need to keep their existing health insurance policy in place.

So this is the thing I have noticed, which someone needs to address–a primary reason for many people not to leave their current job and take an entrepreneurial risk (with the potential to create hundreds of jobs) is not salary, but it is health insurance.

Whatever happend to "portable health insurance?" I search Google News and see no hits on this topic. Are there any states that are trying to make it possible for small business owners and new entrepreneurs to team up and get decent health care plans collectively? I suppose employee leasing companies may offer this kind of thing.

Can anyone tell me what I should say to a middle-aged employee who really wants to leave a job and start out on his own, but he’s afraid to do it because of losing his health insurance? What are the best options?

212 total views, 1 views today

16 Comments

  1. What are their best options? They don’t have many that I can see. I think you’ve nailed it on the head–many people don’t worry about salary, position in a company, and a lot of other things … they worry about health insurance.

    I’m 28, non-smoker, non-drinker, not overweight, runs-marathons kind of guy and I can’t get private insurance, and don’t qualify for private insurance, believe it or not. I can’t find many options except to be full-time employed or going to college. I’m stuck with really no other options

  2. What are their best options? They don’t have many that I can see. I think you’ve nailed it on the head–many people don’t worry about salary, position in a company, and a lot of other things … they worry about health insurance.

    I’m 28, non-smoker, non-drinker, not overweight, runs-marathons kind of guy and I can’t get private insurance, and don’t qualify for private insurance, believe it or not. I can’t find many options except to be full-time employed or going to college. I’m stuck with really no other options

  3. What are their best options? They don’t have many that I can see. I think you’ve nailed it on the head–many people don’t worry about salary, position in a company, and a lot of other things … they worry about health insurance.

    I’m 28, non-smoker, non-drinker, not overweight, runs-marathons kind of guy and I can’t get private insurance, and don’t qualify for private insurance, believe it or not. I can’t find many options except to be full-time employed or going to college. I’m stuck with really no other options

  4. What are their best options? They don’t have many that I can see. I think you’ve nailed it on the head–many people don’t worry about salary, position in a company, and a lot of other things … they worry about health insurance.

    I’m 28, non-smoker, non-drinker, not overweight, runs-marathons kind of guy and I can’t get private insurance, and don’t qualify for private insurance, believe it or not. I can’t find many options except to be full-time employed or going to college. I’m stuck with really no other options

  5. What are their best options? They don’t have many that I can see. I think you’ve nailed it on the head–many people don’t worry about salary, position in a company, and a lot of other things … they worry about health insurance.

    I’m 28, non-smoker, non-drinker, not overweight, runs-marathons kind of guy and I can’t get private insurance, and don’t qualify for private insurance, believe it or not. I can’t find many options except to be full-time employed or going to college. I’m stuck with really no other options

  6. Janet Meiners

    Seems you’re stuck in other ways too Rick, lol.

    I agree. If it’s just you, then it’s risky. As a single parent it’s even more difficult to imagine taking that risk.

    Medical savings accounts are a good idea but they are just for big events.

    This definately needs reform. Life and health insurance worked when we stayed in one job for years. It doesn’t work now.

    Janet

  7. Creating a portable health insurance company sounds like a terrific opportunity for an entrepreneur. I wonder if there is someone out there with good knowledge of the insurance industry that could put something like this together.

  8. Johnny Tahoe

    Many states have fiarly affordable personal health insurance. For those that don’t and want to get a business rolling, check into a PEO which is what most doctors do. They offer decent levels of healthcare and 401K type stuff by massing large amounts of people into one organization.

  9. David McInnis

    Portability of health insurance would not be a problem is health insurance was traded at the consumer level rather than rolled into the employee benefit package. Who’s idea was that anyway? I buy my homeowner’s insurance, automotive and life insurance on the open consumer market and do not expect my employer to pay for them. Why should we expect our employers to pick up our insurance tab. I have to believe that employees and employers would be better off if employees supplied their own insurance. Employers could even provide a salary bump in lieu of paying the insurance premium. Employees would then be able to purchase insurance the fits their needs with the extra money. Insurance companies would then be competing in a different market, one that requires more aggressive pricing.

  10. You also want to make sure the company is an insurance company and not an association like Blue Cross. An association isn’t under the same insurance laws as a regular insurance company and can drop you in a heartbeat even though they say they have to do it by class in their agreement.

  11. You also want to make sure the company is an insurance company and not an association like Blue Cross. An association isn’t under the same insurance laws as a regular insurance company and can drop you in a heartbeat even though they say they have to do it by class in their agreement.

  12. Dan Masterson

    There are actually several options in this area. Some States (I know about Utah from personal experience) have insurance groups in place for those that can’t be insured otherwise. The rates are high thought and the benifits not that great.

    Paul Zane Pilzner has done research in this area and is involved with some companies offering insurance to individuals. Pilzner promotes something called Wellness Insurance and Health Insurance savings accounts. His book “The Wellness Revolution” has several sections Health Insurance. His site has a number of interesting links too. http://www.paulzanepilzer.com/

    Organizations like NASE (National Association of the Self-Employed) http://www.nase.org. Also offer plans.

    There are answers out there you just need to look a bit. The big thing is to have your insurance options set up before you jump from your company. And make sure you have the budget to pay the premiums.

  13. Neal Harmon

    I’ve been using NASE. Not much experience with it but I like the idea behind what they’re doing. When I’m sixty, they’ll pay me back everything I didn’t take out of the policy in medical bills. This works well for our life style because we’re not avid doctor goers. We don’t go for the sniffles. Jody Larsen explained NASE to me and helped me sign up. Call him if you have any quesitons: 435-865-1043.

  14. Dave Bascom

    I’ve been self employed for about 4 1/2 years and have found health insurance to be quite frustrating and expensive. I was with NASE for a couple years and hated it. Their coverage is pretty good for catastrophic, and if you never need to actually use the insurance, but if you’ve got young kids like I do, you’ll end up paying for a LOT out of pocket. Also, it was tough to get any customer service with those guys and my agent disappeared off the face of the earth after selling me the policy. I switched to an individual plan with IHC, and it has been great, except they keep jacking up the rates every year. But the coverage is good–more like what we were used to as an employee. Insurance companies can be pretty picky about who they accept on these individual policies, though. I got denied for coverage by Blue Cross Blue Shield at the same time I was accepted by IHC–go figure!

  15. Angel Investing, Entrepreneurship & Learning » Ent

    […] no “shortcuts” or great health insurance discounts for entrepreneurs — I remember Paul Allen writing about this same topic 2 years ago saying that the lack of health insurance was on….  The cost of health care is continually increasing, which makes it more and more difficult for […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *