1. )#) Obtain coverage through your spouses group plan if available. Historically, this has been the best option, however many employers are now charging a pretty steep rate to add a spouse to their plan. It may be beneficial to shop around for an individual / family health insurance plan.
2. )#) Establish a group plan. This can be costly for a small business owner in Wisconsin, as group plans are required to take all employees. For example, if you hire someone that had cancer a year ago, they are eligible for coverage and that is why group plans are costly, as they have to price in that risk when providing health insurance.
3. )#) Purchase an individual / family plan from a major medical insurance provider in Wisconsin. There are many websites where you can shop plans from such carriers as Humana, Anthem BC/BS, United HealthCare, WPS and other insurers in the state. The difference with individual plans versus group plans is that coverage is not guaranteed. You will need to submit an application and it will be underwritten based upon you (and your families) medical history. If you have had, or currently have major medical issues, this will probably not be an option. If however you can obtain coverage and your are not eligible for a group plan through a spouse, this is probably your best option.
4. )#) Many organizations such as local Chambers of Commerce have “group” plans available to their members. These can be pricey however, as they typically take all members regardless of pre-existing conditions. If you are relatively healthy, an individual / family health insurance policy may be a better options.
5. )#) If none of these options are available to you, the Health Insurance Risk Sharing Plan may be your only option as HIRSP is the ONLY guaranteed issuer of major medical insurance in Wisconsin. BE CAUTIOUS of anyone selling you a guaranteed issue plan other than HIRSP, as it is not major medical insurance and will leave you with significant out-of-pocket health care expenses if something major happens.
6. )#) Badger Care is a Wisconsin based program primarily designed for low income families with children. Depending on your financial situation, you may qualify for Badger Care.
Remember, when purchasing health insurance it is important that you purchase a policy through an established and recognizable insurance carrier. Do you want to purchase a health insurance plan from a company that you never heard of that you would expect to potentially pay out millions of dollars? Do you research.