June  2005      Vol. 14, No. 6  REAP HOME PAGE  A publication of the Center for Rural Affairs    
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Insurance Concerns for the Self-Employed

Health insurance coverage strains the self-employed, according to an online member poll by the National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE). Three-quarters of survey respondents had been uninsured sometime. Over 20 percent of those without insurance had gone without it for three years or more.

Survey results came during Cover the Uninsured Week, held in early May. Individuals and organizations around the country highlighted the necessity for health coverage for all people during that week.

Respondents of the poll overwhelmingly favored health tax credits and association health plans. “The self-employed and micro-business owners are unfairly disadvantaged by the health care system in this country, with higher premium costs than corporations and the self-employment tax on their health insurance costs,” said NASE president Robert Hughes.

The survey showed the number one reason for having no health insurance, given by 49 percent of respondents, was the inability to afford the premium. Eighty-three percent of respondents favored health tax credits to buy health insurance. Ninety-one percent favored association health plans to purchase affordable insurance.

Three-quarters of respondents favored deductibility of health insurance plans associated with health savings accounts. Nearly half favored expansion of federal programs like Medicare (48 percent) as well as creation of state health programs and high risk pools (46 percent). Half of respondents opposed a national, government-managed health care system; 39 percent favored it, and 11 percent didn’t know.

“The NASE continues to fight for a fair health care system where micro-business owners and the self-employed can find affordable ways to insure their families and employees,” said Kristie Darien, executive director of the legislative office.

NASE is a nonprofit member association dedicated to helping entrepreneurs succeed and driving continued growth of this vital segment of the American economy. For more information, visit www.NASE.org 

Contact: Glennis McClure, reapwbc@diodecom.net  for more information.
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