While major medical plans are the best option to get quality medical care, there are times when you may not be able to access long-term health coverage immediately. This is where short-term health insurance comes in.
What is short-term health insurance? While these plans have typically involved policies that give you anywhere from 30 to 180 days of health care coverage, as of October 2, 2018, their duration has increased to 364 days in most states. They may cover a range of crucial services, including emergency care, hospitalization and outpatient services, office visits, prescriptions and more.
If you haven’t signed up for a major medical plan, this type of insurance can provide a temporary solution to help you access medical care should you need it. Short-term insurance is designed to fill coverage gaps, in other words — for example if you:
- Are between jobs
- Are moving off of your parents’ health insurance
- Are waiting for Medicare
- Have recently been divorced and lost your spouse’s coverage
Short-term insurance is also an important option if you didn’t sign up for a health plan during the open enrollment period or don’t have a qualifying life event like the birth of a child or getting married.
While keeping you covered is the central benefit of short-term health insurance, these plans may also have lower premiums and a flexible range of deductibles. It’s important to note that short-term policies are typically nonrenewable, though you may be able to apply again. They do not offer minimum essential coverage or cover pre-existing conditions. And they require medical underwriting to determine whether you can be covered and if so, at what cost and with what exclusions. That said, they often allow you to begin or end coverage any time during the month, meaning that they really are there when you need them.
Want to know more about the latest changes to short-term insurance plans? Read all about the new legislation here.