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Short Term Health Coverage

Short Term Health Insurance Coverage is a variation on individual and family health insurance that can provide temporary coverage for individuals or families. Most policies offer coverage for one to six months. This type of plan is ideal for people who are between jobs or waiting for a new health plan to take effect.

Short term health insurance typically provides the same coverage as conventional “permanent” major health insurance such as hospitalization, emergency room services and doctors’ services in the hospital. It does not cover normal pregnancy or childbirth, wellness care for children, sports injuries, or care received outside of the United States. It does not cover dental care or vision care (unless the care is related to an accident or illness). Short term health insurance policies are underwritten, which means they do not cover any pre-existing conditions.

A person must be more than 30 days old and less than 64 years and 11 months old in order to qualify. Some type of prescription coverage is usually available with short term insurance policies. As with other expenses you will need to meet your deductible and coinsurance requirements.

Benefit periods for short term insurance are for a maximum of six months and terminates at the end of the period that you apply for. If you need
major medical insurance at the end of the coverage period, you can reapply for another coverage period. You application is subject to the eligibility and underwritten requirements. Any condition that occurred as an expense during the last coverage period will be treated as a pre-existing condition and excluded under the next coverage period.

Several deductible and coinsurance options are available, with the premium cost varying depending on the features you select. One of the best features of this type of insurance is coverage begins immediately. Some companies offer coverage within one day of the application. You may also designate a specific date as much as 30 days into the future.

Many people who lose their jobs find that short term health insurance is much more affordable than COBRA. When choosing short term health insurance over COBRA, be careful not to allow a gap of more than 63 days when you have no coverage. You may affect your right to obtain permanent individual coverage without evidence of insurability.

If you know the exact number of days that you need to be covered, you can specify by number of days. If you don’t know how long you will need short term health coverage, you pay for an initial period of 35 days and then pay for additional periods of 30 days each for as long as you want coverage to continue up to the maximum coverage period for the policy you select. It is important that you check your state’s regulations regarding this type of insurance because each state approves the characteristics of the policies that can be offered to their residents.

Payment options can be tailored to your individual needs. If you are not sure how long you will need the coverage, you can make monthly payments to continue the coverage as long as you need (up to 365 days). To do this you make an initial payment for 35 days and subsequent monthly payments for 30 days. With most companies, you can save up to 20% of the cost if you pay for a single premium rather than monthly billing.

If you are between jobs, a recent college graduate or waiting for a new health plan to take effect, short term insurance can provide you and your family without the security you need. Electing to be without health insurance is a dangerous choice that can take a serious physical and financial toll on you and your family. Even young, healthy adults should bear in mind that a single emergency room visit can cost hundreds, even thousands of dollars and intensive care can cost thousands per day. And that does not include the cost of prescription drugs. Medical bills are one of the leading reasons why people file for bankruptcy. More importantly, people without health insurance are tend to wait longer to seek care so that diseases are more advanced when they finally see a doctor. This increases the mortality rate of uninsured people.


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