Short term health insurance plans also know as Temporary Health Insurance plans provide medical coverage for a limited period of time. People who are transitioning between jobs or who are temporarily without medical insurance may need to purchase a short term medical insurance plan for that brief period. Short-term insurance plans typically provide coverage from 30 days up to 180 days. Certain plan do provide coverage up to 365 days.
How Short-Term Health Insurance Policies Work?
Short-term health insurance plans have a policy maximum of up to $2 million and may have limited benefits in comparison to long-term major medical insurance policies. Each provider offers different budget options, varying in the deductible and coinsurance percentage you pay. Plans with higher deductibles and fewer benefits will have a lower monthly premium.
Who Needs Short-Term Health Insurance?
Examples of people who need temporary medical insurance are listed below.
- New Immigrants
Recent US immigrants who are waiting to receive US coverage from some type of government-sponsored health plan will need a short-term medical insurance plan during this period.
- People Transitioning Between Jobs or Laid Off
Individuals who are temporarily unemployed or waiting on their next job to begin may be without health insurance. Even if this transitory period is brief, unforeseen events can happen at any time, which is why it is best to purchase a temporary short term insurance plan in-between jobs.
- Recent College Graduates or OPT Students
Recent graduates or OPT students who are no longer covered by their student insurance policy and find themselves uninsured after graduation need health insurance while unemployed or waiting for a job to begin. Short-term medical insurance provides coverage for this transitional period.
- Dependents No Longer Covered Under Parents Insurance
Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), young adults under age 26 can be covered as dependents on their parents insurance plan. Individuals who will soon turn 26 and do not have prospective health benefits will need health insurance. A short-term health insurance plan is best for these individuals awaiting an employer-sponsored medical plan.
- Early Retirees
Short-term medical insurance is good for early retirees waiting on Medicare to begin. Companies often do not provide health coverage after retirement, so retired individuals waiting on Medicare benefits may need a temporary health insurance plan.
- People Who Missed ObamaCare Open Enrollment
Those who missed the open enrollment filing period (ObamaCare) for long-term insurance must still be insured during the time until they can again enroll for long-term insurance.
Other qualifying individuals for short term health insurance might include recently divorced individuals, US citizens returning to the US after living abroad, temporary or seasonal employees, and any other individuals who are temporarily uninsured.
Benefits of Short-Term Health Insurance Plans
Some of the advantages of temporary health insurance plans are listed below.
- Affordable, quality health coverage that is less expensive that long-term health insurance plans.
- Up to $2 million policy maximum.
- Brief and easy application process that can be completed at any time.
- Coverage for up to 12 months.
- May not have an exclusive Providers Network. Can visit any doctor or hospital of your choice.
- Coverage available for individuals as young as 18 years old.
- Coverage can take effect as early as the next day after applying.
Drawbacks of Short Term Health Insurance Plans
Some of the disadvantages of temporary health insurance plans are listed below.
- Limited, pre-fixed benefit amount.
- Excluded from government subsidies.
- Approval not guaranteed.
- Policy renewal not guaranteed.
- Pre-existing condition coverage, maternity coverage, preventative care, and immunizations may not be provided.
- Does not meet ACA standards. May be subject to tax penalty.
- May prevent qualification for COBRA or HIPPA.
Short-term health insurance plans also have certain eligibility requirements, state restrictions, and other exclusions depending on the insurance provider, so be sure to check the policy details before purchasing.
There are many scenarios in which individuals may be temporarily uninsured, and as a result, in need of short-term medical insurance. Temporary health insurance plans provide medical coverage and protection for transitional periods during which individuals are waiting for employer-sponsored or government-sponsored health benefits. Despite the individuals age and waiting period, anyone is at risk and should have health insurance at all times.