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[IP] Health insurance for self-employed people

I noticed someone made a comment about difficulty changing insurance 
companies because they were self-employed.  There are some options.

About 12 years ago, my 20 month old son was diagnosed with diabetes and I 
left my job.  I continued our health insurance through COBRA for 18 months 
and then was notified that the premiums were going to jump from $400 a month 
to $1100 a month and our coverage was going to be reduced.  HIPA (the health 
insurance portability act?) wasn't around then.  I was in a panic!  I called 
every insurance company in the phone book.  All but one told me they would 
not insure us - one said they'd consider it, asked me to submit and 
application (with an application fee), cashed my check and turned us down.  A 
friend told me about the Small Business Service Bureau.  

I found a group called the Small Business Service Bureau in Worcester, MA.  
They are an association of small businesses.  At the time, it cost $75 a year 
for membership.  This organization puts all of the small business members in 
an area into a group and gets group insurance rates.  At the time we joined, 
I had seven choices of insurance policies - five of them had no pre-existing 
clause.  (I live in the Washington, DC area).  They are a nationwide group.  
Any self employed people who need/want to switch insurance companies, check 
them out!

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