Are you among the 44 million Americans without health insurance?
If so, you might have looked at some short term health insurance plans. But exactly what is short term health insurance? How do these medical plans work?
Most importantly, is it the right answer for you? Keep reading to find out.
What Is Short Term Health Insurance?
As of 2019, there’s no longer a penalty in most states for not having medical coverage. Still, we don’t need to tell you the risks of going for long periods (or any period) of time without some type of health insurance.
Short term health insurance, also called gap coverage, is there to fill in those “gaps.” Short term medical plans are ideal if:
- You’re between jobs
- You’re waiting to become eligible for Medicare
- You’re waiting for another insurance policy to kick in
- You’re without healthcare insurance (outside of Open Enrollment)
If any of these situations apply to you, you could be the perfect candidate for short term coverage. You can also see more here about finding suitable coverage if you’re an entrepreneur.
How Do Short Term Medical Plans Work?
Short term insurance plans typically range from 30 days to 12 months. Depending on your state, coverage could be capped at 90 days, or you might be able to extend it up to 3 years.
Short term plans usually have lower premiums than major, long term health plans. But, as you might expect, they don’t provide the same level of coverage. They’re not intended to provide permanent healthcare coverage, but they do provide some protection during the interim.
Some things that might be covered by short term insurance include:
- Unexpected injuries or illness
- Urgent care
- Emergency room visits
You might also receive discounts for visiting doctors or facilities within a specified network. Keep in mind that your deductibles and co-pays will likely be higher than with a long term plan.
Short term medical plans are an excellent option to provide some peace of mind during a transitional time in your life. However, they do have more limitations in coverage than you’re probably used to.
Here are some things that are usually not covered by short term insurance plans:
- Pre-existing conditions
- Routine preventative care
- Dental visits
- Vision care
- Pregnancy & maternity care
- Mental health
- Substance abuse
- Prescription drugs
Why are there so many discrepancies in coverage? Basically, federal regulations allow short-term insurance providers to create their own coverage plans without any required mandates. What’s covered in one state or by one company might be totally different than another.
With any policy you’re considering, be sure to read the fine print so you understand exactly what is and is not included. You’ll need to answer a medical questionnaire, and the policy you’re offered will depend on your health status and medical history.
Final Thoughts on Short Term Insurance Plans
So, is short term health insurance the right answer for you?
If you’re between jobs or waiting for a long-term policy to begin, temp health insurance offers the peace of mind you need. Don’t take any chances with your health—it’s not worth the risk!
Did you find this article helpful? Be sure to browse our other posts for more great information for entrepreneurs.