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We need medical benefits for a family of three.

My wife opted to leave her job after giving birth to our first child. Her job provided our medical benefits, as I operate a single-person consultancy. Before we have to move to COBRA, what are our best options?

My wife and I are each 37 and our son is 3 months old. We live in New York City.
Penny Morey answered September 29, 2008
URL: http://www.entrepreneur.com/answer/221668
There are a number of carriers who are writing medical coverage for people not covered by their employers or who are seeking coverage options for other reasons.

Some that come to mind are Humana, Aetna, United Health and Blue Cross, but there are others, too. If you do a search on Google, you will see many options pop up.

As to which is best for you and your family, you have some homework to do unless you know and trust a specific agent who can gather your family information (including statistics such as you provided in the query above) and do the research for you. Even then, he or she will present you with a number of options regarding the types of coverage available (point of service, preferred provider organization, health maintenance organization, high deductible plan coupled with a health savings account), monthly premiums, co-pays, deductibles, and so forth. Plus, if there are doctors you already use and like, check that you will be able to use them without penalty with the specific plan(s) you choose.

Even with COBRA, you may want to look at various options to see if you can reduce the monthly premiums, if that is a factor for you and your family right now. Keep in mind that you only have a specific time in which to opt for COBRA, so based on the age of your son, you need to make your decision relatively soon or lose that opportunity.

Penny is a seasoned human resources executive and consultant with over 25 years of diverse business experience in advising enterprise leaders on employment-related matters.