Health insurance on your own? Here's advice.

The Washington Post's special section on health insurance--and the uninsured--has some articles of particular relevance to freelancers.

The first, "Keeping a Health Policy after You Leave Your Job," covers COBRA options. It's a great primer for workers making the transition from staff to independent work. Especially if you live in a state with medical underwriting (where you can be denied insurance due to a pre-existing condition), it's important to maintain continuity of coverage.

For individuals looking for health insurance on their own, there's an article on "Getting Coverage if Your Employer Doesn't Offer It." (Oh, boy. Need we point out, again, that a vast number of people who buy their own insurance don't consider themselves "employees"?) While it offers some good advice for those shopping on the individual market, there's the underlying--and erroneous--assumption that people without employer-sponsored insurance are just in between "real" jobs. As the article concludes, "There are really only two sure-fire solutions in today's individual market . . . 'Be healthy or be rich.'"

We'd like to propose a third solution: a new social safety net for the new workforce.

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