If you’re contemplating a career as a counselor or therapist in private practice, you likely find yourself with a number of serious questions. On the list of these queries is how do private counselors afford health insurance? The reality is that there are a number of viable health insurance options available to a counselor in private practice.
Self-Employment and Health Insurance
In this day and age, one of the more significant challenges faced by self-employed women and men is finding affordable health care insurance. Health insurance oftentimes is one of the most expensive if not the costliest line item in a self-employed person’s budget. This includes a counselor in private practice.
Professional Association Membership
A key strategy to obtain health insurance employed by a private counselor is to join a professional association. There are a number of different types of professional associations available to counselors. Some of these associations are focused on a particular type of counseling.
Professional associations provide a variety of resources to their members. These resources fairly commonly include health insurance. While an individual association member needs to pay the tab for health insurance coverage, buying this type of insurance through an association typically costs less money than if a counselor obtains coverage on the open market or through the health insurance exchange.
Health Insurance Exchange
As do many self-employed and other Americans, a counselor in private practice may have the opportunity to purchase coverage through a health care exchange, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Depending on a counselor’s income, he or she may be able to obtain a decent federal tax credit to assist in paying for health insurance premium cost. Bear in mind that as a general rule, a person is only able to obtain health insurance coverage via an exchange at a specific time during the year. There are some exceptions to this limitation, depending on a person’s specific set of circumstances.
Another alternative a private practice counselor might take advantage of when seeking healthcare is joining a membership-based program. For example, there are medical practices across the country that provide primary care services of different types for its members. A person becomes a member of such a program by paying aa monthly fee. In some cases, a private counselor joins such a membership program and also obtains a health insurance policy designed to cover major medical expenses like emergencies and surgeries.
Health Insurance Broker
Another resource a private counselor may want to consider accessing is a health insurance broker. A health insurance broker can assist a counselor in private practice in exploring specific options available on the market today.
In this day and age, most counselors in private practice provide individual and family services. In addition, there is a notable segment that provides drug and alcohol treatment services. The number of professionals providing private counseling services is expected to increase at a steady pace over the course of the coming decade, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The rate of growth is anticipated to be comparable with what is occurring across the labor market generally.