One of the best feelings is to finally say enough to the 9-5, but you lose the comforts of many benefits. Are there programs or services out there that help entrepreneurs bridge that gap?
If you're in Canada, there are two options:
- Some insurance companies will offer employee benefits coverage to companies with as few as 2 employees.
- You can join an association plan (there are many out there), where you're part of a larger pool of many small companies and the claims & premiums are spread across the entire pool.
Depending on the size of the company you are leaving you may be entitled to up to 18 months of continued coverage with a Cobra plan. It is usually quite a bit more than you were previously paying, but it allows you some time to look for insurance.
I don't know much about it, but the new state exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act may be worth checking out if you are going to have a limited income. healthcare.gov.
You can also find some health plans and coverage options online through at sites specially designed for self-employed professionals such as StartupInsurance.com and HealthAviator.com.
Cobra is expensive, your best bet is to utilize the cobra election period for free coverage until you are forced to elect, then get on the Healthcare.gov insurance. If your income while you start the company is below thresholds, you will be eligible for substantial subsidies that will help make the coverage far cheaper. Your location may have a state exchange (CA) or you may have to use the federal exchange. You can also buy individual policies straight from a broker or carrier and those are mid priced options to the other two alternatives.