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On your own: Health care for the self-employed
By Becky Bergman CHARLOTTE — Ted Follin never expected his family to go without medical coverage for three years when he started his business, Wicked Rides Hot Rods & European Car Restoration Shop, in May 2007. The Unionville business owner and father of three said he would have to skimp on crucial investments like equipment, materials and marketing to be able to shoulder the $800-plus monthly health insurance premiums. “There was no way I could start, let alone run, my business if I had to pay out $800 or more a month for health care,” he said. As of March, however, North Carolina entrepreneurs, micro-business owners and other self-employed businesspeople who belong to the National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) will have more options for how they buy and use personal health insurance. This month, the NASE and UnitedHealthcare’s Golden Rule Insurance Co. have partnered to offer individual and family plans for NASE members in 20 states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin and Washington, D.C. North Carolina and West Virginia are expected to be added in March.