What Is Short Term Health Insurance ? And How Much Does It Cost?

Short Term Health Insurance is a type of health care designed specifically for temporary situations. You may be familiar with Medicaid or Medicare, public marketplace plans, but what you may not know is that these avenues for health coverage have a deadline. Unless you can prove exceptional circumstances (like a loss of coverage not by your fault), you’d have to wait an entire year for the next open enrollment to enroll.

Being unprotected can put you and your family or business at risk of unnecessarily paying thousands of dollars out of pocket – or worse – not being able to receive treatment. Short term plans can provide a low-cost solution to a scary situation. 

How Much Does Short Term Health Insurance Cost ?

Short term plans are offered by private insurances to help bridge a gap in your coverage for 3-6 months. Although they can be renewed for long term use (1-3 years), it’s not ideal to use them for longer than your transitional period. Yes, the cost is lower than a full comprehensive plan, but only because the benefits are limited. They’re great plans for temporary situations but are designed for just that – temporary situations.

What Do Short Term Plans Cover

Temporary coverage provides coverage for what is considered to be essential health benefits. These essentials include doctors’ visits, hospital care for minor accidents, and at times – mental health services. Short term plans are ideal for covering a trip to the doctor for the average concern. If the issue isn’t related to pre-existing medications, they’ll even cover prescribed medications. 

What Are The Disadvantages Of Short Term Health Insurance

For starters, regardless of your condition, no matter how minor or severe, a short term health plan will not cover any treatment related to pre-existing conditions, whether it be medications, doctor visits, or hospitalization. Like most insurances, they require a monthly premium but often have high deductibles.

Additionally, they can deny claims on a case by case basis and have a cap on benefits. This means that in case of an emergency if you find yourself in an accident met with a large hospital bill – your short term plan will only cover up to a certain amount, and you’re left paying the rest out of pocket.

Lastly, insurance providers that offer short-term plans can deny your coverage based on your health history. This is because short-term coverage is offered through the private market and does not need to adhere to federal regulations.

Is Short Term Health Insurance A Good Idea

For individuals considered to be in good health, this may not seem like a bad option for coverage. (Especially at such an affordable rate.) It is not uncommon that individuals with no pre-existing conditions who don’t often partake in an activity that could leave them at risk of an accident try to maintain short-term health insurance for longer than the suggested 3-6 month period.

However, it is crucial to keep in mind that the reason for health insurance is not for convenience so much, as it is to help in case of the major accidents we can’t predict. Like car insurance, it’s the type of coverage you secure in case of the worst-case scenario – mainly because you cannot file a claim on a new policy obtained after an accident. 

Final Thoughts

If you find yourself in a position that leaves you without health coverage, it’s essential to remain protected. Countless companies offer short term health insurance, and it may not always be easy to understand the differences in benefits. As health care advisors, we’re here to help you narrow down the options until you find a comfortable plan. Regardless of your situation, just ask the Art of Insurance.