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This Web site contains a compilation of more than a thousand consumer finance  columns written by Tony Novak from the 1980s through 2006, updated and reformatted for maximum usefulness today.  New material was added after 2010.

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Health insurance for small cycle shop

originally posted: 11/22/2006  reposted: 2/18/2011 This post has not been recently reviewed or revised by the author and may be out of date. If you notice an error or are in doubt, please send a new question by email or ask for an update. Email

Q: My cobra insurance from my former wife’s health policy is about to expire. I have controlled diabetes with no complications. I have explored several options but have found nothing that would cost less than twice what I am paying now--$275/mo. I operate a small cycle shop with 1-4 employees who would be willing to join a group (dependant simply upon a comparison to what they are paying now). What are the best options for me to explore?

A: The best immediate solution is a short term medical insurance policy. You will save about $2000 over six months as compared with other high quality coverage options. Following is an excerpt from the article "Health Insurance for Diabetics" at ( : “non-insulin dependent diabetics can get short term health insurance coverage under the product name Secure STM issued by Standard Security Life. This is a month-to-month coverage for up to six months, but consecutive policies are allowed in most states to stretch coverage for longer periods of time. This is a true comprehensive short term major medical policy offering full coverage up to $1 million for the usual ordinary and necessary medical expenses at any doctor or hospital in the United States. There is no required network of providers. Like all short term medical policies, this insurance excludes coverage for pre-existing medical conditions. This is a great choice when the assigned risk plan is available but the normal cost of medical care does not justify the high price of the more expensive health insurance. The cost of this insurance is only a small fraction of the price of other plans. This insurance is the most likely choice when an applicant needs a immediate coverage and does not need coverage to pay for the pre-existing medical expenses. The policy is usually issued online. The ID card can be downloaded and printed immediately at the time of enrolment". Pricing and enrollment are available at When you eventually need a group insurance plan at a higher price, the prior STM coverage gives you the same guarantee that the pre-existing diabetes will be covered under the next plan (in the same way as COBRA), but at a much lower price. Keep in mind that reputable group insurance plans through a business, regardless of the business size, are almost always priced more than $500/person/month. Healthy employees of small businesses usually find better options in the low priced but higher quality individual health insurance plans. Be prepared, however, for the day when health insurance for your business may be your largest expense,


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