Starting photography business

Discussion in 'Business of Photography' started by maregold, May 2, 2018.

  1. Hello everyone, Marianne here.
    I have found this forum very helpful and it has helped me already with a number of questions. For that I am very thankful, but today I have one more question. I am officially starting my photography business - registering the name, etc. This means I am now self employed. So one thing I need is health insurance. I have looked for affordable health insurance for self employed individuals and was shocked by how expensive it is. Most of the plans have premiums starting $400 per month and up. What's worse and makes the health insurance totally useless is that it has huge deductible - around $7,000 per year. So what's the point of having insurance if it will never kick in because you need to spend $7,000 per year out of pocket first. I looked at a lot of websites but got the same result. I am very frustrated. I don't think an average self employed individual pays half a thousand dollars per month with a $7,000 deductible. So I must be looking in the wrong places, there must be other solutions. I know it depends on which state you are in (I am in New York), but maybe you can help me out and point me in the right direction, websites where I can find something reasonable. Thank you so much for your help.
  2. AJG


    Unfortunately, what you've found is the situation we are in in the US with regard to health care. For many people most of the time, they pay more for insurance than they will use--that's how insurance companies make money. That said, if you are unfortunate enough to need a lot of care you can blow through that $7000 deductible in a big hurry. The other benefit of having insurance is that the rates that insurance companies negotiate with doctors and hospitals are much lower than you will get on your own. Just remember to factor this in to your rates.
  3. Hopefully somebody with the knowledge will give you some ideas about rates and where to look...or who to talk to for help. It can be discouraging to source Insurance for just a person or two.
    You think 7k is A Lot of money.?
    You have never been in a hospital i take it. :)
    I have had 3 back surgeries, the last one was close to One Million Dollars. THAT is why you have Medical Insurance. It is for Pregnancies and Surgeries, or some type of Catastrophic Care.
    Did you consider this before becoming a Professional Photographer. It is all part of the rates you will need to charge. In all seriousness.....Are you sure you are making the right decision. Can you do something else to make a living.?
    If photography is indeed your destiny, i wish you all the luck. Many people, myself included, were not able to do "Something We Love" as a profession. I was in the Painters Union, photography was always a hobby, and a Dream Job.
    Good Luck :)
  4. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    I am (almost) totally ignorant of how Health Insurance works in the USA. My Private Heath Insurance costs nearly $500 per month and this year I shall have considerably more than $7,000 out-of-pocket Health Care Expenses, so I speak from this experience.

    Firstly, there might be differences in HOW or WHO pays the Health Insurance Premium, for example, there might be a difference if you are a Sole Trader (whatever equivalent legal term is in USA – where the business is in one person’s name only and that person is “The Entity”) In this case the Health Insurance Premium might have to be paid ex-Income Tax (that is to say out of your own pocket AFTER you pay your personal income tax). On the other hand, there might be an alternative Business Structure, for example some type of ‘Private Company’, ‘Family Trust’, ‘Partnership’ (using Terms which are applicable to Tax Law in my jurisdiction), that means the ‘company’ etc is ‘The Entity' and for the purposes of Health Insurance the Tax Law allows the ‘Company’ to pay the Health Insurance Premium as part of your ‘Salary Package’.

    Secondly, there might be Insurance Bundles, whereby individual premiums are discounted if there are taken with: one Insurance Company; with one set of Subsidiary Insurance Companies; or managed by one Insurance Broker. In this case you might bundle your business's Liability Insurances; your Home Insurance; your Car Insurance... etc

    For the former, I expect that you’d require the assistance of an Accountant suitably au fait of Tax Law and the types of Business Structures available in New York - I expect that in New York there would be many.

    For the latter, I would expect that the USA has “Insurance Brokers” as a profession.

    The main point I make is – the ‘setting up’ of a ‘Business’ does not comprise isolated, individual sections and it is usually not a good idea to sign off on any one part until you have the whole ‘plan’ sorted; and where that Business Plan describes a smooth running machine such that your business will work to provide you the best benefit with the easiest daily functionality.

  5. Thank you very much for your reply. $7,000 is a lot of money in my book.
  6. Thank you so much for replying, I could imagine surgeries can easily cost a fortune. Some brokers contacted me after I filled out my info on the insurance websites so I will talk to them tomorrow. Maybe they DO after all have some reasonable deals. Thanks for wishing me luck, I need it:)
  7. Thank you very much for your insight, I really appreciate it. I am a sole proprietor (which you called a sole trader) so for insurance purposes I am considered an individual. Bundling insurance is a good idea, I will look into it, thanks again.
  8. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    OK - Again, Good luck.

    PS - Yep $7 is a lot of money, I agree, in my book too.
  9. Hi maregold, nice to know that you have enjoyed and been benefited from this site. I am new here and would like to enjoy like you.
  10. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    You should be going through the ACA exchange in New York state, which will result in your health insurance being adjusted to your income. The reason you are getting higher quotes from sites offering insurance for individuals is that they aren't going through the exchange. You may have a problem because you didn't enroll during the open enrollment period but you should still try.
  11. At the risk of repeating myself, this is the type of comment i had in mind when i said.........
    "Hopefully somebody with the knowledge will give you some ideas about rates and where to look...or who to talk to for help. It can be discouraging to source Insurance for just a person or two." :)
  12. I am full time and go through the ACA exchange as well. It's a much better option for self-employed.
  13. I belong to a health share program (Liberty health share) where we all pay a modest monthly rate and its pooled together and used to help the members pay for their medical needs. My monthly rates are like $300 for me and my wife with a $1000 deductible between us and we are covered for up to 1 million per incident. We got this back when Obama got us into this mess.
  14. Compared to A LOT of people, that sounds pretty cheap, reasonable and decent. What did you have before and why did you switch.?
  15. Do you really have to ask that question? The money of course. The health care is a money racket business. What ever I had before was ridiculously too much money.
  16. What you are writing is unclear.
    You had something better, and you changed...or you had something worse, and got something better during Obama.?
  17. I am sorry you don’t understand my comment. Please google “liberty health share” and come to your own conclusion.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 10, 2018

Share This Page