Temporary health insurance has been gaining popularity. But how do you know if temporary health insurance is right for your needs? There are a few key elements to understand before you purchase this kind of short-term health insurance. Let's sort it all out.
What's the difference between short term and temporary health insurance?
The phrases 'short-term health insurance' and 'temporary health insurance' mean the same thing. They both pertain to limited options meant to fill in gaps between employment benefits enrollment or green card approval.
Short-term medical insurance or short-term health insurance, as the name suggests, provides the insured with limited medical coverage for a specific window of time. Most temporary medical insurance covers 30 to 180 days. But there are more specialized plans including coverage for up to 364 days before requiring renewal.
Compared to regular health insurance, a temporary health insurance policy provides only essential health benefits, and includes certain limitations regarding coverage. Short-term medical insurance typically has a coverage amount maximum of $2 million, along with other exclusions or limitations for covered health services.
Who should consider temporary health insurance?
Despite the limitations, short-term health plans are beneficial for those seeking basic insurance coverage for a prescribed period of time.
- Regular insurance has lapsed: If someone transitioning jobs they may want to find temporary medical insurance until their new employee benefits kick in. Short-term medical plans ensure that individuals can get the health benefits they need.
- Dependents or students: Once young adults reach the age of 26, they are no longer eligible for coverage under their parents or guardians insurance plans. In addition, students, including those in optional practice training (OTP) programs, may find themselves without coverage after their student policy ends. Temporary health insurance plans are an ideal solution for this transitional phase.
- Before Medicare enrollment: Older individuals who retire from employment before their Medicare benefits begin can rely on short-term medical insurance.
- New to the U.S.: Individuals who recently immigrated to the U.S. are required to comply with insurance guidelines. Temporary health insurance plans can offer limited coverage they need as they wait for employee to begin.
- Missed the open enrollment period: A temporary health insurance plan is also a perfect option for those who may have missed the open enrollment period for long-term insurance.
There are other situations where someone might want to get short-term health insurance. For example, a U.S. citizen returning from living abroad, a temporary or seasonal employee without regular insurance, or those recently divorced may also need short-term health insurance coverage.