Associations, Purchasing Alliances and Chambers of Commerce for Individuals
Individuals in New York City can sometimes get lower-cost health insurance by purchasing coverage through an association, purchasing alliance or chamber of commerce.
Associations allow self-employed individuals, and sometimes part-time workers, to purchase insurance at “group” or sole proprietor rates. Individuals usually must work in select industries covered by the association in order to get this coverage. Purchasing insurance at a “group” rate usually translates to lower premiums. Most associations require that the individual pay membership or enrollment fees to the association or guild in addition to monies paid to the insurance company.
Purchasing alliances are intermediaries between small businesses and health insurers that can provide administrative ease and potential cost savings. Small businesses buying health insurance through a purchasing alliance can offer each covered employee the ability to choose the health plan that best meets their individual needs. Sole proprietors may also access health plans through purchasing alliances that are not available elsewhere and may benefit from the administrative support provided by the intermediaries.
Some chambers of commerce offer health insurance plans to sole proprietors. These plans are only available to the members of the chamber of commerce. An annual membership fee is required in order to purchase a health plan.
NYC Health Insurance Link lists plans offered by the following association:
Freelancers Union offers health insurance to self-employed workers and part-time employees in certain industries and occupations: nonprofit, technology, financial services, media or advertising, arts and entertainment, home-based child care providers, traditional and alternative health care providers, and skilled computer users such as graphic designers, architects, and video editors. It offers a selection of health plans through its own health insurer. Eligibility requirements include work or earnings requirements. There is an annual fee for accessing insurance and other fees may apply. For more information, please visit www.freelancersunion.org or call 800-856-9981.
NYC Health Insurance Link lists plans offered by the following purchasing alliance:
Long Island Association (LIA) Health Alliance offers sole proprietor plans in addition to coverage options for small businesses. An annual membership fee is required. For more information, please visit www.liahealthalliance.com or call 800-542-5513.
NYC Health Insurance Link lists plans offered by the following chamber of commerce:
Manhattan Chamber of Commerce (MCC) offers sole proprietor plans. An annual membership fee is required. For more information, please contact Francis Guzman, Francis@Manhattancc.org or call 212-473-7875.
Last updated: February 1, 2013