Our studio recently took the steps to shore up our health insurance. This topic is a bit overwhelming for many small business owners, including myself, so I will let you know what we did and give you an expert contact to let you explore it further. I think insurance is very important to keep you healthy and your family secure in case of death or disability. Even though photographers are in a creative field, we still need to smart about our life business.
For starters, we have auto, home, life (We use Liberty Mutual) and commercial insurance for our business. (My original blog on commercial business insurance for info & our agent.)
For health insurance, our business went to a health insurance agent to find a policy that fit our family. I’m not going to lie to you, health insurance stinks in term of plan options and expense in the state of Maine. (I will skip my rant on this subject.) Still, Brian and I have it as self employed business owners because we have a child and we ‘re not willing to take chance if someone gets seriously sick. I can say that Roberta, our agent at O’Hearn in Portland, Maine, gave us great information and comparative charts that allowed us to get what was best for us.
And for us, we chose a newer plan model— a health savings account. We opened the HSA account with Blush Imagery LLC as the owner of the policy. It is basically an insurance plan as well as a savings trust. We still pay a monthly fee for a family of 3, but it also allows us to move money into the account tax free. For example, say I make $50,000 in gross income in any given year. I can move $5,000 income into the account and my adjusted gross income would be $45,000 for tax purposes. That’s a good, purposeful write-off. I can then withdraw that money for any approved health need. (This year was a growth year for us, so without a gob of cash at hand, we took the funds from an old, small IRA, rolled from my work back at newspapers, and transferred it to the HSA to fund it for the first year! That’s allowed too—up to a certain amount!)
Other sources for health plans can be found at your local chamber of commerce or professional photography organizations. Most pro groups offer a group health plan as a membership perk.
We also added short and long term disability coverage. For not much more, this adds to your health policy to protect you from more realistic life injuries— not a death, but injuries that would keep you from your photography work. Let’s face it, one broken leg and you may be out of your studio for a long time. We have physically demanding jobs!
So stay healthy and protect your family and business as you grow!
(Tell her Blush Imagery sent you.)
O’Hearn Insurance Agency
Portland, Maine Office:
1087 Forest Avenue
Portland, Maine 04103
Office 207-797-9400 |