Five health care strategies for small businesses in 2017

Only hours past the point where we thought that Republican leaders in Washington DC had reached an agreement on  minimalist proposal to begin “repeal and replace” of Obamacare, the measure known as “skinny repeal” (covered in my last blog post) has been defeated. Many of us went to bed last night thinking that the healthcare reform process was finally on the move and awoke this morning to the news that the simple measure failed.

Simply put: Obamacare is too expensive, too restrictive, has too few insurance options, and we don’t like paying these new tax penalties.

What now? What should self-employed people and small business owners do now?

I recommend focusing on these five approaches:

  1. Minimize the role of insurance. Health insurance is the least effective and most costly method of covering your health care expenses. Almost anything you do to minimize its stranglehold on your health care will be an improvement.
  2. Focus on paying with pre-tax dollars. Tax treatment of health care expenses remains under your control. This is one of the most significant cost factors that you can control, so use it yo maximum advantage.
  3. Integrate health care planning with personal financial planning and business planning. Health care will likely be your second largest lifetime expense so it makes sense to bring it front-and-center in your overall life plan.
  4. Don’t wait. There will not be any magic solution coming from Washington DC. Waiting will not improve your chance of a good outcome. Deal with the realities as they exist today.
  5. Take advantage of free help. As a 30+ year veteran of health care reform issues for small businesses and as a small business owner myself, I feel your pain. I offer free telephone mini-consultations though my practice Freedom Benefits. This can help clarify the specific challenge issues and begin to prepare a list of possible response strategies.

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