Self-employment – With Benefits

Health and dental insurance helps to protect your business’s most important asset: you.

Canadians are increasingly turning to self-employment as their means of earning a living. Over the past 25 years, the number of self-employment people in this country has risen from 1.8 million to 2.7 million. In March 2015, more than 15 percent of working Canadians worked for themselves. (These numbers according to Statistics Canada June 2015 historical summary of self-employment data)

Being your own boss comes with many benefits, including the freedom to manage your own schedule and make final business decisions. Self-employment doesn’t, however, come with “benefits” – such as paid vacation time, a retirement plan and a health and dental plan.

I have personally been self-employed my entire adult life. I know better than most that it can be a trade-off. Self-employed Canadians have to save up for their vacations, invest towards their retirement and hope with fingers crossed that their out-of-pocket health and dental costs stay manageable. But when unexpected things happen, like a long term illness with expensive maintenance drugs it can put a real crimp in your financial plans.

Such an Illness, and the more than $300 per month prescription drugs that came with it were partially responsible for my bankruptcy back in 2005.  However, solutions are available to help people in this situation get the health benefits they need.

Plan for routine costs and unexpected expenses

For some self-employed people, purchasing individual health and dental insurance may be a good way to cover routine costs that fall outside provincial health plans. Every year, many Canadians spend hundreds of dollars on dental visits, eye care, prescriptions and services such as massage therapy and physiotherapy. According to a 2013 Statistics Canada report, the average Canadian household spent about $1,662 annually on direct health care costs.

Perhaps even more importantly, the right package can help provide protection from the financial impact of unexpected expenses. You may need dental surgery. A child may need braces. A family member may require ambulance, home care or nursing services.

Having health and dental benefits in place that meet your needs can go a long way to help alleviate the stress of unexpected expenses. When choosing coverage, look for:

  • Affordable rates that fit comfortably into your monthly budget
  • A customizable plan that lets you choose different options
  • Easy claims processing so you don’t have to deal with more paperwork

Give us a call

Being self-employed doesn’t mean you have to do without health and dental benefits, like I did for nearly 20 years.  Talk to us about what’s available, what it covers and what it costs. You may be pleasantly surprised by the price of a package that provides effective protection for yourself and your family. Not the mention the extra loyalty you may be able to engender with your key employees by extending some benefits to them as well.

Individual health and dental insurance is a safety net – reassuring every day, and important in a crisis. It’s a valuable “perk” to add to the others more commonly associated with the freedom of self-employment. And it just might prove to be the difference between continued self-employment and bankruptcy.

Contact us for more information on how to incorporate a health plan into your business.

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