The Challenges Of Healthcare For Women Entrepreneurs

by Wendy Dessler

Women-run businesses are the current leaders in industry growth in the nation. A report from Small Business Majority stated that women-led companies are responsible for 1/3 of all new jobs in the United States. As the country recovers from the recession, women entrepreneurs have had to face many challenges to get and maintain this lead.


Access to funding

Women have always faced an issue when it comes to obtaining funding. The fact is, most men want to loan money to people that look like them. It is immaterial if this is a deliberate act or simply one that must be continually called out, it does ring true. 

Technology has helped in this area. It allows women to find funding in an atmosphere that is gender neutral. While this helps financially, this does not eliminate the problem. In business, men have always known that networking and having connections is important. That leads to the “boys club” closes the door to a woman in the field that wants to seek those connections.



Healthcare

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, often shortened to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or nicknamed “Obamacare” laid out some pretty firm guidelines regarding health insurance. Small business owners must pay for part of the insurance for their employees if they have 50 employees or more. One of the important considerations regarding healthcare coverage is birth control.

The Affordable Care Act requires insurance companies to provide birth control for women at no cost to them. This has been a huge help in allowing women to choose when and if they get pregnant.
Since that mandate, more women have finished college uninterrupted, and more women are able to advance their careers by planning for children. 

The Trump administration has put this mandate on the chopping block and it makes women business owners a bit nervous. Women-led businesses face this challenge head-on. They are more likely to help the employee explore all options. Sometimes, it makes better sense for the employee to secure insurance through HealthCare.com, to have coverage and stay in compliance with the law. This one shouldn’t be mixed up with Healthcare.gov, though.

If the ability to free birth control is taken from women, it will make it more difficult to make sound business decisions about the type of coverage a business owner can provide. The costs of healthcare are already out of reach for many women-led small businesses. However, they explore all options and find a solution that works more often than not. 



Freelancers

Many times women entrepreneur are freelancers. This means, they often must secure their own Health Care Coverage. Here are a few tips to help:

* Check with your local Chamber of Commerce to see if there are any business groups you can join to get a group rate.
* Shop for the best price. This includes shopping online.
* Check with Freelancers Union to see if you can get in under their policies.
* See if your partner or spouse has a policy that can allow you coverage under their group.
* See if you qualify for government assistance to pay for your coverage.
* Price policies with a higher deductible if you are in good health. This can make the legal minimum insurance requirement easier to cover.

There is no doubt that women entrepreneurs have climbed higher in the business world. As they struggle to keep their momentum, the future healthcare concerns are difficult. But we will continue pushing the glass ceiling away and we will be heard in the business arena and our voice will be heard in the voting booths.

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