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    Does anyone who is SCI or otherwise disabled have a small business of your own? If so, what resources did you draw upon for start up? I don't mean cash/financial backing, but logistics of your day to day.

    My biggest concern is health insurance. What are you doing for coverage? If you had SSDI and Medicare coverage, are you purchasing Medicare out of pocket? Did you use Ticket to Work to expense/plan for additional costs associated with running your small biz as a person with a dis?

    Thanks in advcance for any info, experience, etc.

  • #2
    Originally posted by LaMemChose View Post
    Does anyone who is SCI or otherwise disabled have a small business of your own? If so, what resources did you draw upon for start up? I don't mean cash/financial backing, but logistics of your day to day.

    My biggest concern is health insurance. What are you doing for coverage? If you had SSDI and Medicare coverage, are you purchasing Medicare out of pocket? Did you use Ticket to Work to expense/plan for additional costs associated with running your small biz as a person with a dis?

    Thanks in advcance for any info, experience, etc.
    I don't know how small you mean but if its 5 or more you could use an HR outsourcing company. A couple of friends of mine and I started a company about 3 years ago, specifically so we could get health insurance. We used a company called Trinet, it combines a ton of small companies and then uses that combined buying power to negotiate with insurance companies. I have insurance similar to when I worked at Yahoo for a pretty reasonable price.

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    • #3
      Perfect idea, T8. Thanks!

      To start, it will just be me. I will not/would need need to change health insurance for a short time. Just looking ahead and health insurance has been my greatest fear/hurdle.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by LaMemChose View Post
        Perfect idea, T8. Thanks!

        To start, it will just be me. I will not/would need need to change health insurance for a short time. Just looking ahead and health insurance has been my greatest fear/hurdle.
        Cool. BTW, I am in no way affiliated with trinet other than being a customer. We are at 23 people now use them to outsource payroll as well as benefits. Works great.

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        • #5
          You can earn up to a certain amount monthly, after taxes, before you would have to give up medicaid if you are on it. It's not much monthly (like $800+/-) but when you consider many start-ups loose money or barely break even you could be alright short-term when it comes to healthcare.

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          • #6
            T8, I did not take it that you were affiliated with TriNet. Just really glad to know about them or similar orgs.

            Bullock, no idea what the limits are (looking into all of this as we speak), but start up costs are a consideration before any profit is returned. Also, there is LTD from my former employer to consider, but I want to have a go at having my own biz. Craptastic economy and all, it's now or never.

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            • #7
              T8burst,

              Does your Trinet membership permit you and your business colleagues to gain the insurance benefits in an "open-enrollment" fashion as is the case at GE, IBM, SPX, etc. where existing conditions (e.g., paraplegia or quadriplegia) do not prevent otherwise uninsurable individuals from being covered by the company insurance?

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              • #8
                Whatcha starting up?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by WC_Sage View Post
                  T8burst,

                  Does your Trinet membership permit you and your business colleagues to gain the insurance benefits in an "open-enrollment" fashion as is the case at GE, IBM, SPX, etc. where existing conditions (e.g., paraplegia or quadriplegia) do not prevent otherwise uninsurable individuals from being covered by the company insurance?
                  I don't know the answer to that. I was not injured when we signed up with trinet so it never came up. I do know that my injury did not affect the rate that we pay trinet.

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                  • #10
                    LaMemChose, I would be interested in hearing how your LTD would be affected and what the LTD provider has to say.

                    Thanks.
                    Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.

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                    • #11
                      Whatever you end up doing, do your research. I had insurance through NASE for a little bit & it was a waste of money b/c they didn't cover hardly anything I needed related to SCI. You're playing a numbers game. Consider what it'd cost for a high-deductible policy for emergencies/etc, and if you'd save enough by not paying a "normal" premium to put money aside into a separate fund that could help pay for the routine stuff.

                      And plan to set aside 25-30% of your revenue to make life easier come tax time.

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                      • #12
                        I was part of a startup, just three of us at first, and we also used one of those benefits outsourcing companies. They're also called Employers of Record, because as far as the tax paperwork is concerned you work for them in addition to your own company. I wasn't aware of a five-employee minimum, at least not with the one we used. That was some of the best health insurance we ever had. They offer a lot more than just health insurance too. They run your payroll, tax documents, all that kind of stuff.

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                        • #13
                          I was laid off in November 2008 as the economy tanked, and used the opportunity to start my own business. Like others have mentioned, most start-ups lose money the first few years (mine included) which helps keep you qualified for Medicare and/or Medicaid.

                          I am a quad and can't do my own transfers, so I need twice a day attendant care. Even if I had health insurance (other than Medicaid) I would still be paying $20,000+/year, as very few insurance plans cover long term home health care. Since Medicaid covers these vital services, I am careful not to lose it! I use 2 programs under SSI (not SSDI, these are SSI specific) to qualify for Medicaid, PESS and 1619b (with an individualized threshold).

                          Below are some good resources I've used, I will try to keep up with this thread and provide ideas based on my experience.

                          http://www.griffinhammis.com/publica...iderations.pdf
                          http://ruralinstitute.umt.edu/traini...ESS_Letter.pdf
                          http://www.worksupport.com/topics/brown_bag_omara.asp
                          http://about.me/joshuawinkler

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                          • #14
                            Thanks, Crip Concepts. I'll give those links a good look/see. May have questions for you later.

                            Lazlo, good deal. Glad to know about such set ups for insurance/taxes/payroll/etc. from someone else who has done it/does it.

                            Appreciate the input, Scott. Anything of this sort is a crap shoot/numbers dilemma. There are expenses I know about month to month (and I keep these to a bare minimum as I take few meds) and then, the unexpecteds that seem to crop with this dis.

                            Joe-MN, check your LTD policy inside and out before doing anything of this sort. I'll have six months of working at a certain level for x amount of money. Once I do that, all bets are off. LTD will be gone. Again, it's a crap shoot/numbers thing. This demands solid game and a little (a lot?) of luck.

                            Andy, we'll have to catch up.

                            I'm not on Medicaid, have Medicare for insurance, SSDI and LTD for "income."

                            I have found my passion, my bliss. Is there a risk? Absolutely.

                            Not doing anything seems riskier. Looking at that option, it is not my life, not me.

                            Can I take what I do, launch a biz, grow it, keep it and my quad bod afloat simultaneously? That's the big question.

                            I see others here who are more seriously injured, have greater impairments and day to day challenges than the ones I face and they are going to grad school, working full time, have their own businesses, paying their own way. It stands to reason, "If they can do it, I can, too."

                            I'm neck deep into researching things as Scott mentioned. It's one reason I'm asking the things I am here and elsewhere.

                            There are others who have done it in this community, have gotten away from SSDI, Medicare, LTD and are working still. I know one who went to college while living in a nursing home post injury, got her degree, moved out and has her own place, works to this day. If anyone is a role model for me, it is her and others like her and many of you.

                            There may be other questions from me.

                            Thanks for any and all input.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by LaMemChose View Post
                              Appreciate the input, Scott. Anything of this sort is a crap shoot/numbers dilemma. There are expenses I know about month to month (and I keep these to a bare minimum as I take few meds) and then, the unexpecteds that seem to crop with this dis.
                              Sure thing. The way I look at it is that monthly expenses, if not absurd, are manageable with lame insurance. I use about $130 worth of supplies per month ($100ish for colostomy stuff, $30ish for caths). I'm off meds, aside from UTI antibiotics ($30/yr?). Back when I was with NASE, I was paying something like $400/mo for crappy health coverage. It was basically a safety net for major stuff. BCBS quoted me $1200ish/mo, for a much better policy... but at the expense of another $10k/yr. It made more sense, numbers-wise, to pay for my stuff out-of-pocket in that scenario.

                              I'm not on Medicaid, have Medicare for insurance, SSDI and LTD for "income."

                              I have found my passion, my bliss. Is there a risk? Absolutely.

                              Not doing anything seems riskier. Looking at that option, it is not my life, not me.

                              Can I take what I do, launch a biz, grow it, keep it and my quad bod afloat simultaneously? That's the big question.
                              INCORPORATE. A LLC will run you a few hundred to form. Keep it a separate entity and have the business pay you a minimal amount. Ride out your SSDI/LTD benefits while the business grows (and builds up a stockpile of cash that doesn't get spent). If it gets to the point that you can safely drop your benefits, do it (just my opinion).

                              You're in a less risky position than you think.

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