As a real estate agent, your income is unpredictable.
In a previous article, I spoke about how hard it is to get health insurance for realtors. In the article, I mentioned what types of health insurance you can look for as a realtor.
But let’s do a bit of a deep dive into predicting income for realtors and real estate investors and how that implicates health insurance options for you.
Note: While I think it’s the best option for you to consult a health advisor versus negotiating health insurance yourself, here are some things you should know before speaking to a health insurance consultant:
- Be aware of some of the top terms and keywords used in health insurance
- Make calculated income predictions (we’ll cover a bit of this below!)
- Know when the open enrollment period is for your state
Keep reading for more insights.
How to predict income for realtors
Clearly, a lot of your income as a real estate agent is dependent on where you are based. In the US, different states have different ranges for real estate and knowing where you operate will give you a clearer guide on how much you can rake in. Let’s go big money!
While you understand the real estate prices in your location, you need to know and understand how much commissions you can/will earn. How many units do you need to transact? How many houses do you need to lease or sell to earn a certain amount? What are the real estate commission rates that you’re working with? There’s a bit of math involved here but some guesswork and forecasting can help you determine where you stand as a realtor and how much income you are predicted to make.
Experience and added value
This is a key aspect that many of my realtor clients don’t pay attention to. Collecting experience and providing added value to your clients matter. How many years have you been working for? Does your income match your experience? Are you going the extra mile for a client? What can you do more to improve your client experiences and your bottom line?
Now that you’re able to predict your income, here are two health insurance options for realtors to consider depending on the stage your business is in.
Health insurance options for new realtors
Let’s say you’ve just started your real estate career. When you start, your revenue is lower. In this case, consider an insurance plan that calculates premiums based on that lower income.
Health insurance options at the startup stage when entrepreneurs have very limited funds can be explored at the healthcare marketplace for a state-sponsored marketplace health plan. The healthcare marketplace will offer tax credits or subsidies to offset that lower income. These subsidized rates can lower your premiums significantly.
However, be careful here, because as your operations grow, and your income increases more than what you estimated, you might owe the IRS in back-premiums.
You can find more information on marketplace offerings at healthcare.gov or healthsherpa.com which is a user friendly version of the same. Keep in mind that you can only sign up for these plans during open enrollment season which is traditionally November through December. Outside of these dates, you may qualify for a special enrollment plan through a qualifying life event.
Health insurance options for seasoned realtors
Once your business grows or your revenue exceeds projected income, you may end up owing the government in premiums if you underestimate the projected revenue for your small business. Health insurance plans at this stage can get extremely expensive, depending on your income and business revenue. Sometimes, it can be even more than a mortgage payment on a house!
When your business is doing well and growing, consider making the switch to a health-based private plan. A health-based private plan will lock in a rate based on your current health condition so even as your income goes up or your health situation goes down, your health insurance premiums do not. Let’s lock in that lower rate!
This is certainly not the only option, as the private market for health insurance offers plan options at various price points and coverage levels.
However, I sincerely believe that a health-based medically underwritten health policy is truly the best for price. In fact, it’s the only type of plan I will work with! And I believe in it so much, I offer personal concierge services to all my clients on these kinds of plans. I am here on standby to help utilize and maximize the use of the plan for the duration of the policy.
Already have an insurance plan? Review it!
Here are 3 questions to ask to evaluate whether you need to change/upgrade your plan:
1 . Did I meet my deductible last year?
Deductibles are often more important than your monthly premiums. A deductible is the amount of money you have to pay before your insurance will pay out your benefits. If you have not met your deductible, or even gotten close, then you might be on the wrong plan! Consider a plan with a lower or even zero deductible, which might be more appropriate.
2. Was I able to see the doctors I wanted to easily?
What network is your plan a part of? If you are part of a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plan, you may be limited to the providers you can see. Moreover, you will need referrals from your primary care provider if you want to see a specialist.
A Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) network is much wider, nationwide coverage that travels with you where you go. You can see whichever provider you like, anytime! If you have the choice, pick the PPO.
3. Did my income fluctuate from last year?
Depending on where you obtained your health insurance policy, income may have a lot to do with how much you pay for your plan.
If your income went down, you might qualify for government assistance programs such as Medicaid or a government subsidy or tax credit.
If your income went up and you no longer qualify for a subsidy, then maybe exploring some private options that can give you better rates is a good avenue to research.
Are you a realtor? Not sure where to start with your health insurance?
The Google rabbit hole is dangerous. Let a professional handle all the research. Book a 15-minute health insurance consultation with me today.