By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer
When I first left corporate America to pursue my own wellness business, one of the concerns I had was about providing my own benefits. As an employee of a large corporate firm, I had received company paid health care, dental care, disability insurance, 401K, paid sick days, paid vacation days and paid holidays. In return I was required to plant my body in front of a computer for 8+ hours a day between the hours of 8:30am and 5pm or thereabouts. However, I felt like a caged animal in cubelife–my body needed more movement, my soul needed more meaningful work and my mind craved more variety. After completing massage school, I took the plunge to be my own boss, set my hours AND pay for my own benefits. Which meant I had to learn how to find and understand those benefits. (Something big companies pay a full-time HR specialist to do!)
I found my own health insurance plan through an insurance “broker.” U.S. Benefits group is the broker I currently use and recommend in Chicago. But now you can also find out about health care plans through a government website. I am usually fairly skeptical when it comes to government-sponsored anything. But I admit, I am impressed by the new government sponsored website “healthcare.gov.” It’s a web portal that explains the new Affordable Health Care initiative and simplifies the insurance purchasing process for those that may not be familiar with purchasing their own healthcare plans. I took a test drive and I have to say, it is super easy to navigate.
Navigating the Healthcare.gov website
1. Want to find a health care plan that fits you/you and your family, click here.
2. Want to read about illness prevention? Click here.
3. Not sure how your hospital compares with others in the area? Check it out here.
4. Confused about the new Affordable Care Act? You’re not alone. That’s why this new site gives you plenty of info about the new law and how it impacts you here.
5. Are you looking for specific info for your particular situation? Click here if you are a healthy individual, someone with a health condition or if you are pregnant. Senior citizens can learn how the new law impacts you here.
6. If you run a small business, there is great info here to help you make good health care decisions for you and your staff.
7. Hard working Human Resource professionals of companies with more than 50 employees can learn how the Affordable health Care act effects you and your company here.
8. Have tons of time on your hands and love wading through government regulations? The new site even has a page for you! The Implementation pages gives you access to the actual regulations, authorities and requests for comments here.
Check out the new website and let us know what you think in the comments section of this post!
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