Obamacare: Entrepreneurs and consultants get coverage, but not in Africa

I’m a young adult and recent graduate from college. Post graduation, I took a consultancy job in Africa until May of next year. I’m curious how consultants and entrepreneurs go about health insurance as it is certainly not offered by your line of work. Should I go the international insurance option? Or should I pay for domestic insurance (the States) and be sure to come home for medical needs?

New Nomad

Dear New Nomad,

For your time in Africa, your best bet is to get international insurance.  A U.S. plan would cover only emergency care there, and routine or catastrophic care in the U.S.  You would be left to find your own way back to the U.S., which might be quite difficult if you are seriously ill.  

When you return to the U.S., you should go immediately to the exchange in whatever state you are living in.  You are allowed to enroll when you return, without having to wait for an open enrollment period.  The exchange is meant exactly for people who do not have an employer-based plan offered to them.  It’s where entrepreneurs and independent consultants can get health insurance, and subsidies, if their income is less than 400% of Federal Poverty.

Linda Riddell

About Linda Riddell

A published author and health policy analyst with 25 years’ experience, Linda Riddell's goal is to alleviate the widespread ailment of not knowing what your health plan can do for you.