5 Important Things You Need to Know About Short-Term Health Insurance
You’ve probably heard about short-term health insurance in the news lately.
Recent changes have made a splash in the health insurance world and everyone’s talking about it.
The simplest way to describe this kind of coverage is that its purpose is to fill the gaps or transitional periods between regular health insurance coverage.
For example, maybe you’re a recent college graduate, you’re between jobs or you’re retiring early.
Each of these situations could be a time that you’d need short-term health insurance.
Let’s take a look at what these plans cover.
1. What is short-term health insurance?
Of course, plans will vary widely according to the carrier, and there are differences in what’s covered, too.
Generally, a short-term plan will cover the services and treatments that are a result of unexpected illness or injury.
For example, doctor visits, emergency room visits, surgeries, hospital stays and the related labs and x-rays.
While short-term health insurance may include coverage for prescription drugs, you’ll probably pay more for the additional benefit.
2. When do you need short-term coverage?
Here’s a closer look at the life circumstances that necessitate this kind of coverage.
- You can’t afford Obamacare.
- You retired early and can’t yet enroll in Medicare.
- You’re too old for your parents’ health insurance plan.
- You need a gap-filler between plans.
- You’re a student or recently graduated.
- You missed the Open Enrollment period for ACA coverage.
- Your doctor doesn’t accept your Obamacare plan.
3. What are the benefits?
There are several important advantages to this type of health insurance.
- They have lower premiums, making them more affordable.
- They’re flexible. If you love your doctor, no problem.
- There’s no Annual Open Enrollment deadline and you can get coverage at any time of year.
- The new rules allow you to be covered for up to 364 days, with the option to renew as much as you need to up to a total of 36 months.
- You can usually get approval quickly and your coverage can begin as early as the next day.
4. How do you use the short-term plan?
If your plan doesn’t have a provider network, you can see any doctor that you want.
You may be required to pay for your medical services upfront or set up a deferment until you can submit your bills to the provider for reimbursement.
If your plan does have a provider network, you’ll save money by using doctors and hospitals that are in the network.
Your benefit levels may even vary between non-network and network providers.
5. Is it a viable alternative to Obamacare?
ACA coverage isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Sometimes you need something else.
The bottom line is that life is unpredictable.
You don’t always see a job loss coming. Circumstances often change quickly and you can end up feeling overwhelmed.
Sometimes you need a safety net and that’s what short-term health insurance provides.
An independent insurance provider has the knowledge and skill to answer your questions.
Getting expert advice
A wise move is to talk to a specialist who knows the ins and outs of short-term health insurance and who can guide you to the choices and plans that are just right for your unique set of circumstances.
What life circumstances are you experiencing and that may warrant checking into short-term health insurance?