What is Short Term Health Insurance
Also known as term health insurance or temporary health plan, we can help you answer what is short term health insurance can bridge gaps in your medical coverage. Many of its features differ from traditional health plans.
Is Short Term Health Plan Ideal
It is designed for temporary coverage. Thus, you should not treat it as permanent coverage. This temporary health plans will make sense only in these cases:
Missed open enrollment. Major health plans have open enrollment periods. If you missed them, you will have to wait for them to open again.
Waiting for ACA to start. It can be a few weeks or a month.
Out of school
Getting out of parent’s insurance
Waiting for your employer’s benefits to start
Since it is not for everyone, you should determine your upcoming medical needs first. In that way, you will know whether or not it is a good idea to have this plan. Will the cost of healthcare be lower when you have a short term plan than when you do not have it?
Before deciding, makers sure that you study all plans available to you. Study the duration, the types of coverage and the overall costs. Plans vary depending on the state where you live as there are specific regulations from one state to another.
The Coverage of Short Term Health Plans
The overall coverage will depend on the plan you are getting. It also depends on where you buy the plan. These plans do not abide by the guidelines of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). These plans are major plans that offer minimum essential coverage. But short term temporary coverage is not required to meet the same standards as the ACA.
However, short term plans can offer you a certain level of coverage for your doctor visits, emergency and urgent care services. Some plans will pay for some prescriptions.
Some plans will only cover you for health care services done within the provider’s network. Read the information on your plan to know its exclusions and limitations. In this way, you will understand what items are covered and what is not.
Advantages of Short Term Health Insurance
To better understand this type of plan, you should understand its pros. Here are some of them:
You are free to choose a plan and its duration. Pick a plan that can give you coverage within a month, a few weeks or months or a year.
You can also cancel your temporary coverage anytime and you will not pay any penalties.
It is designed to give you short-term coverage.
Disadvantages of Short Term Health Plans
Depending on the plan you pick, the deductibles are usually higher than the major plans. Plus, you will have to deal with some unforeseen expenses.
They do not cover pre-existing conditions and offer limited coverage for some healthcare services.
Coverage is not standard. That said, you will have no coverage for the essential health benefits that other plans provide.
As you study these short term plans, you will find that they are not suitable for everyone. If you wish to obtain comprehensive benefits, you should enroll in a major health plan that you can pay through a private insurer. Or you can have it when you are employed.
There are upfront costs that you will have to handle when you have short term plans.
They are monthly fees that will depend on the coverage you pick, deductible and coinsurance. The higher the premium is the lower the deductible will be. The premium is also typically higher than traditional health plans.
It is quite higher than a major health plan. But you will have to deal with it using your own money before your plan starts sharing costs.
It is a percentage cost you need to pay after meeting your deductible. The percentage will depend on your plan.
It is a fee that you must settle each time you visit a doctor or hospital. You will pay for it at the time of your visit. But some plans need a copay for some doctor visits only.
As mentioned, short term plans offer limited coverage. Thus, when you undergo a certain treatment and it is not covered by your plan, then you will have to pay out of your own money. For example, most short term plans do not cover vision or dental care. The costs associated with this type of care will be paid by yourself.
Read your policy to know what coverage it can provide. You should study the details first before buying short term coverage.
ACA Health Plans Vs Short Term Coverage
ACA health insurance coverage is required by law to provide a certain level of protection. It must cover you for the 10 essential health benefits, such as maternity, mental health, and others.
Short term plans are not mandated by law to cover those essential health benefits. But they can temporarily fill the gaps in coverage in some cases. These short term plans are not meant to replace major health plans. They are affordable because they do not have to comply with the ACA standards. The benefits are limited.
Furthermore, they do not cover pre-existing conditions. If you have a certain health condition during your application, it will not be covered by your plan. You are also denied coverage for any health issues that you have been treated for.
Where to Buy Short Term Health Plans
Short term health plans are not always available at any insurance provider. Furthermore, you cannot obtain one if the state where you live does not allow selling of this plan.
Because it does not comply with the ACA standards, you cannot purchase it from the health insurance marketplace. You should consider searching for an insurance provider that sells a short term plan. You will have to do a little digging before you can find a provider that offers an affordable rate that can meet your healthcare needs. Before buying, though, make sure that you read all the details associated with your plan. In that way, you will know the overall cost of the plan and the coverage.
Short Term Health Insurance Plans