Interim insurance typically covers the same things
as conventional permanent medical insurance such as prescription
emergency room, doctors’ services in the hospital and in
the office. It is designed with unforeseen accidents and illnesses
in mind rather than long-term comprehensive coverage. Therefore,
an interim health plan does not usually cover preventative care
like physicals, immunizations, dental visits or vision care.
Pregnant women are not eligible for interim insurance and maternity
benefits are not covered for women who become pregnant after
they purchase the insurance.
This type of policy does not cover
pre-existing conditions, which means that it will not cover
any condition that has been diagnosed
or treated within the last three to five years. Interim insurance
plans are exempt from HIPAA legislation. This means that when
issuing a short term health insurance policy, insurance carriers
do not have to guarantee renewal, guarantee issue, or waive
the pre-existing condition limitation for federally eligible
Interim health insurance is not COBRA coverage and is not subject
to COBRA health insurance laws. Many people select interim
health insurance as a lower cost alternative to COBRA.
polices, like permanent insurance polices, allow you to use
the doctor or hospital of your choice. Each
state determines the features of the policies that can be offered
to their residents. Be sure to check with your state insurance
commissioner’s office so you will understand the choices
that are available to you.
One of the major advantages of interim insurance is that coverage
can begin immediately. You may also designate a specific date
as much as 30 days in the future. If you don’t know exactly
how long you will need coverage you will typically pay for
an initial period of 35 days and then pay for additional periods
of 30 days each for as long as you want the coverage to continue.
You will usually save 20% of the premium cost if you pay the
entire amount in advance.
Even though the policy expires after six months, you may be
eligible to reapply if you meet certain criteria. Any condition
that incurred expense during the last coverage period will be
treated as a pre-existing condition and will be excluded during
the next coverage period. Find out in advance if the company
you select provides this option. Bear in mind that interim policies
ought to be considered only for those people who are in-between
insurance coverage and that it should not be a replacement for
a standard and comprehensive health insurance policy.
It is critical that you do your homework when choosing your
insurance company. When you narrow your choices down, call
your state insurance commissioner’s office to make sure
that the companies you are considering have good customer service
and no financial or legal issues. Find out in advance how to
file a dispute with the insurance company if a problem should
Here are some other factors to consider when choosing your interim
» What are
» What is
the co-pay for a doctor’s visit?
» What is
the maximum limit per claim?
» What percentage
will the policy pay once the deductible is met?
» Is prescription
coverage included in the plan?
» What are
my estimated out of pocket expenses?